WASHINGTON – Several Democratic members of Congress and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) recently announced their support of the Farm System Reform Act.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) reintroduced the bill which they said would “strengthen the Packers & Stockyards Act to crack down on the monopolistic practices of meatpackers and corporate integrators, place a moratorium on large factory farms, sometimes referred to as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and restore mandatory country-of-origin labeling requirements.”
Following the proposed legislation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) came out opposed to the legislation and called it misguided.
“Democrats in Washington have put forward two starkly different proposals for strengthening the future of American cattle farmers and ranchers,” the NCBA said in a statement. “One of these paths, namely the recent announcement from Secretary Vilsack, offers practical, long-term progress for our producers. The alternative, introduced in Congress, is the kind of broad, jumbled mess you get when you’re more focused on Twitter and talking points than the sound legislating rural Americans need.”
The NCBA also added that 95% of cattle raised in the United States visit a feed yard and that feeding operations are not opposed to small, family-owned farms and ranches but part of the same supply chain.
“Cattle feeders respond efficiently to meet a wide range of consumer demands, and that efficiency is one of the main reasons why the United States has had the lowest beef GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions intensity in the world for 25 years,” the association continued. “As our food supply chain is taxed by a growing number of mouths to feed at home and abroad, this efficient production system will be more vital than ever.”