On Wednesday, the Senate Ag Committee passed the Cattle Price Discovery Act, which prepares the legislation for a full Senate vote.  Todd Nash, President of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association said they recognize there is a problem in the industry, but he’s not sure if this legislation is the right fix.  He agreed that when you don’t have fair, open, and competitive trade, producers get hurt.  But he added when it comes to changing the current climate without hurting others, everyone’s at a bit of an impasse.

“We’re monitoring closely as this legislation moves forward, but for right now, and I always despise being neutral on anything, I kind of like taking the lead, but we really want to be sensitive to those that this could do harm to.”

But, Nash was quick to point that that virtually no competitive markets for live cattle exist in the Pacific Northwest right now.  He added so much potential exists outside of the big four processors, adding that smaller plants really stepped up during COVID, with 3,800 head being processed per day nationwide.  He added that’s good news on a multitude of fronts.

“When they’re processing in small local area like in Oregon, all of that money gets to stay there, rather than like Matt [McElligot] said sending those cattle back to the Midwest or processed there, there’s something really positive about keeping that economy all within some of these remote places that have really struggled since we’ve seen the demise of timber and other industry.”

Nash added that success is a bright spot of which many ranchers should be supportive.  He said he would like to see more done to expand processing facilities across Oregon.

 

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