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Smith Introduces Bill to Establish Cattle Contract Library

October 21, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressmen Adrian Smith (R-NE), Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced the Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation aims to provide more transparency in the market by creating a library for cattle contracts within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agriculture Marketing Service Department. 

Learn more about the Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021 (H.R. 5609) here.

“I am glad to introduce the bipartisan Cattle Contract Library Act today to provide support for Nebraska’s cattle industry,” said Smith. “Establishing a library for cattle contracts, similar to the pork contract library already in effect, will enhance transparency and leverage opportunities for the small producers who are critical to feeding the nation.”

Industry leaders representing cattle country issued statements in support of the Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021:

"Cattle markets are complex. There is no single silver bullet solution to address the many challenges present within the fed cattle marketing arena at this point,” said William H. Rhea, III – President, Nebraska Cattlemen. “We appreciate the support of Representative Smith and others towards additional transparency in the fed cattle market, but we cannot stop here.”

“For far too long, farmers and ranchers have operated under uncertainty in the beef markets, forced to accept rock bottom payments while the cost of beef goes up at the grocery store,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “The Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021 would provide critical information regarding how cattle are contracted and sold. We appreciate Congressman Dusty Johnson for working to provide tools to America’s farmers and ranchers as they ensure healthy, affordable beef is on dinner tables across the country.”

“Greater competition, price discovery, and transparency are desperately needed in cattle markets,” said Rob Larew, President of National Farmers Union (NFU). “NFU thanks Representative Johnson for introducing a bill that will direct USDA to establish a contract library for the cattle industry. This is an important tool that will help producers negotiate more favorable terms for their cattle. Instituting this new policy will be a helpful step in bringing greater fairness and competition to cattle markets.”

The Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021 is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Nebraska Cattlemen, National Farmers Union, and the Livestock Marketing Association.