NCBA members vote to oppose mandates for cash trade at annual Cattle Convention

(United Soybean Board/ BY 2.0)

Whether to support or oppose a widely-discussed piece of legislation that aims to increase price transparency in the U.S. cattle market is one of the big topics up for debate at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s annual Cattle Convention taking place at Houston, TX this week.

There was a strong turnout for NCBA’s live cattle marketing committee meeting on Wednesday that saw delegates vote in favour of opposing efforts to mandate cash trade of cattle.

A revised bill from Senators Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) would require a percentage of regional cattle trade be done on a cash basis, in an effort to boost cash trade volumes, adding to price transparency.

“It’s certainly taking a lot of the oxygen right now at the convention,” notes Greg Henderson, editor of Drovers, speaking from the convention in the interview below, recorded prior to the committee vote on Wednesday.

As Henderson notes, there’s a geographical divide on whether NCBA should support or fight the bill.

“There are two groups. The Iowa/Nebraska group who wants to support the Fisher-Grassley bill, and then Kansas/Texas has a contingent of more larger, corporate feedyards that would be in the other camp,” he explains.

In the live cattle marketing committee meeting on Wednesday, members approved a policy amendment that states NCBA’s lobbying should focus on enhancing fed cattle price discovery, while explicitly stating opposition to any mandates on cash trade volumes. According to Agri-Pulse, NCBA members from Iowa and Nebraska voted against the measure.

Price transparency legislation aside, Henderson says the sentiment at the NCBA convention is positive, coming off the 2021 calendar year where U.S. beef trade is expected to exceed $10 billion.

“The U.S. Meat Export Federation claims that amounts to $410 of the value of every fed steer and heifer sold in the United States, and that’s up from what it was just a few years ago,” Henderson points out.

Tony Romo, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and CBS football analyst, was also announced as the new spokesperson for the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” marketing campaign, notes Henderson.

Check out the conversation with Henderson, discussing the pricing transparency debate, whether there’s been any talk of mCOOL, industry sentiment and much more from the convention:

Find all of RealAgriculture’s coverage of the 2022 NCBA convention (with more to come!) here.

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