WASHINGTON – The Cattle Contract Library Act (H.R. 5609) was debated on the House floor on Dec. 8 and passed by a vote of 411-13. The bill now goes to the US Senate for consideration.

The bill, which was introduced into the House of Representatives in late October by Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), would help cattlemen gather more data needed to make market decisions when negotiating with large meatpackers around the country. The US Department of Agriculture already maintains a similar pork contract library. The bill would amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946.

“Today marks a big win for cattle producers in South Dakota,” Johnson said. “Since I came to Congress, producers have made it clear they want transparency. The Cattle Contract Library provides just that and increases competition in an industry that desperately needs it. While no single piece of legislation can solve all problems, getting this bill across the finish line was a team effort, and I’m grateful to all of the producers that helped get this done.”  

At the time the bill was introduced to the House, Jerry Bohn, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said, “After more than a year of upheaval, facing everything from extreme drought to supply chain disruptions, many cattle producers have been backed against a wall. We need to act urgently to provide them with relief.

“There is no single, silver-bullet solution to the wide variety of needs among our diverse membership, but lawmakers can start by focusing on viable solutions that have broad-base support across the industry. The cattle contract library is one such solution, and it will help our producers command more leverage in negotiations with the packers. We appreciate the work of Congressman Johnson and Congressman Cuellar to move the ball forward on this urgent issue.”