Today, Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson met with President Joe Biden, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Merrick Garland to discuss the administration’s pursuit of a competitive and transparent livestock marketing system.
While consumers have seen the price of meat skyrocket during the pandemic, livestock producers have seen reduced profits with limited market access and opportunities. The Biden administration has recognized a lack of competition in the meat processing industry is hurting farmers, consumers, and our economy, and has promised action to work toward a more functional and transparent meat processing sector.
“The system that exists today is broken and especially harmful to small and medium-sized producers,” Johnson said. “We are grateful for the administration’s attention to this issue that impacts not only farmers’ profitability and rural vitality, but also affects consumers at the grocery store. We must work toward a more stable, resilient food supply chain that can better endure unforeseen challenges and ensure farmers are paid an honest price for their product.”
Johnson shared perspectives from Iowa agriculture directly with the President, noting the impacts a lack of competition has had on farm families. Johnson also encouraged President Biden to work with Senator Grassley and Representatives Feenstra and Axne to help pass the bipartisan proposal to make cattle markets more competitive and transparent. “Farmers don’t want special treatment, but we do need the ability to compete and have a level playing field,” Johnson said.