Senate author of a bill to help independent cattle producers compete against the major packers says he’s not worried the chair of the House Ag Committee has introduced a possibly competing bill.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley on House Ag Chair David Scott’s Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act.
“I don’t think that it’s a problem for my bill. I haven’t read his bill, and I’m not sure I understand the motivations for it. If it comes because of the increased costs of production, because of inflation, and because of diesel prices and all the stuff connected with increased costs of farming is one thing.”
Like Grassley, Scott seeks to boost competition and help offset large price spreads, but by using bigger insurance subsidies and new marketing programs instead of mandating negotiated pricing. Still, Grassley insists; “I’ve been working with Chairman Scott for years now, and he knows where I stand on behalf of Iowa farmers, so I wouldn’t think he’d be doing anything in conflict with our goals. But maybe I ought to read his legislation before I comment any more.”
But the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association did comment this week, arguing Scott’s bill is “far more preferable” than Grassley’s Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act. Grassley’s bill won a bipartisan vote in the Senate Ag Committee last month but has yet to get a vote on the Senate floor.