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WASHINGTON – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement on the announcement made by the CME Group this week that a proposal is being considered to switch to a cash settlement process for its live futures.  The CME Group also announced that modifications to the physical delivery process would be considered.

USCA Marketing Committee Chair Allan Sents commented, “The need to evaluate the current state of the livestock marketplace is real; however, the changes proposed by the CME Group, as announced this week, will not address the concerns of producers across the country.  Rather, the proposal to switch to a cash settlement is a step in the wrong direction.  Price discovery achieved from actively traded futures contracts with multiple buyers and sellers far outweighs an increasingly thinner traded cash market.”

Three Montana Farm Bureau members participated in Senator Jon Tester’s Farm Bill listening tour October 17 in Billings. Tester is holding listening sessions to hear farmers’ hopes and concerns for the new Farm Bill. 

Montana Farm Bureau Vice President Hans McPherson, who served on the livestock panel, said one of the difficulties livestock producers have is simply asking for help. “Livestock producers aren’t inclined to visit FSA offices to fill out forms. They aren’t in the habit of signing up for programs and completing reports. When there is a drought that heavily reduces grazing or haying, and a county is declared a disaster, it’s more difficult for them to get immediate assistance. There needs to be some outreach and education so livestock producers can readily use the programs if necessary.”

Billings, Mont. - In a prepared statement presented this week during the 2018 Farm Bill listening session sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), R-CALF USA said the need for major changes is urgent if Congress wants to prevent the U.S. cattle industry from going the way of the packer-controlled poultry, hog and sheep industries.
"Our industry is fast becoming chickenized, meaning dominant packers are eliminating competition in the fed cattle market and substituting it with corporate ownership or control," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. This process is also known as vertical integration, in which dominant packers acquire complete control over the supply chains within their respective industries.

Leaders of the nation’s top farming organizations joined together today in urging food companies to recognize that their sustainability goals, intended to reduce the use of natural resources, cannot be achieved without the use of modern agricultural practices, despite any misleading assertions to the contrary.

This focus on deceptive food company marketing claims is in response to Dannon’s recent pledge to eliminate the use of safe and proven crop technology to feed the dairy cows that supply milk for its yogurt products. Dannon is one of several prominent food manufacturers and retailers that in recent years has taken steps to eliminate genetically-modified ingredients from its supply, claiming that such a move improves the sustainability of its products.

In a letter sent today to Mariano Lozano, head of Dannon’s U.S. operations, the farm groups said that the company’s strategy to eliminate GMOs “is the exact opposite of the sustainable agriculture that you claim to be seeking.  Your pledge would force farmers to abandon safe, sustainable farming practices that have enhanced farm productivity over the last 20 years while greatly reducing the carbon footprint of American agriculture.”

WASHINGTON – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) commends today's action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’ Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (USDA GIPSA) in submitting The Farmer Fair Practices Rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  According to a letter sent by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to industry groups, the long-awaited rules will seek to restore basic market protections for U.S. cattle producers.