U.S. Meat Production Slowing

Meat companies and union officials tell Reuters that rising COVID-19 infections among workers are forcing meat plants to slow production and the government to replace slaughter inspectors. Meatpacking was an early epicenter of COVID in 2020 and is now the latest sector to be disrupted by the Omicron variant. Cargill, one of the country’s top […]

Hook Space Not The Only Issue Producers Are Facing, Mulrony Says

What needs to happen to process more cattle, not only to remove the existing backlog, but also ensure growing demand is met domestically and internationally? Cameron Mulrony, Executive Vice President of the Idaho Cattle Association, said it’s not just about hook space, but also finding people to work in those processing plants. “If we look […]

University of Missouri to Launch Mobile Meat Processing Training

The University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will provide mobile meat processing training next year. The university will send two mobile meat processing training centers throughout the state as part of a pilot program to address the labor shortages within the meat processing industry. The Missouri Department of Agriculture provides funding […]

Vilsack Discusses Ways To Help The Livestock Industry

Many agree that additional processing capacity within the livestock sector is needed to address current issues within the industry. But as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently told the house Agriculture Committee, other forms of assistance are available from USDA, or are being developed. For example, he pointed to reducing overtime inspection costs for small and […]

ERS Study Shows Meatpackers Role in COVID Spread

A study from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows the role meatpacking plants played in the spread of COVID-19. In what ERS describes as a working paper, the study outlined 49 U.S. nonmetro counties in which 20% or more of employment is in meatpacking, defined as meatpacking-dependent counties. This represents 41% of all nonmetro counties with […]

Competitive Meat Market Bill Introduced in House, Senate

House and Senate Republicans recently introduced legislation that would create tax incentives supporting small and mid-sized meat processing plants. The Hagstrom Report says the goal of the bill is to help cattle producers compete for better prices. Supporters of the Feed America by Incentivizing Rural Meat Packing (FAIR) Act say the bill will make sure […]

Lawmakers Look How To Prevent Future Supply Chain Disruptions

The beef industry has had to address, and overcome, some very unique circumstances and challenges over the past two years. How has is the industry doing and getting the beef supply chain back to normal? “Beef cattle system responded remarkably well. Cattle prices have been on the rise. Consumer demand is strong,” said Perdue University […]

USDA Looking To Expand Meat/Poultry Processing Capacity

Following President Biden’s Executive Order, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced significant investments to expand the nation’s meat and poultry processing capabilities. “At the Department of Agriculture we utilize $500 million dollars in the forms of grants, loans, loan guarantees and technical assistance, and planning assistance to assist those who are considering or thinking about developing […]

Vilsack Talks About Future of Packers & Stockyard Act

Part of President Biden’s recent Executive Order, addressing competition in the marketplace, “we will follow through on the President’s directive and begin the process of rule-making on the Packers and Stockyards Act,” noted Agriculture Sectary, Tom Vilsack. He added he USDA plans to revitalize the Stockyards Act through increased transparency, fairness, and competition for producers. […]

Lawmakers Debate How To Address Cattle Market Issues

More capacity, not more regulation, may be the direction Ag lawmakers take in dealing with cattle market concentration and wildly divergent cattle and beef prices. Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow said dramatic differences of opinion were expected at last week’s hearing on the cause of high beef prices for major packers and low prices to […]