NCBA Welcomes House Processing Capacity Bill


Introduction of the Butcher Block Act in the House of Representatives last week received a warm welcome from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The legislation would establish a stand-alone loan program through the Department of Agriculture to help processors expand capacity, improve marketing options for cattle producers and encourage competitive markets and pricing for live cattle. The supply of live cattle and the demand for U.S. beef are both strong, but a lack of processing capacity or “hook space” has stifled producer profitability. The legislation authorizes the Agriculture Secretary to establish a grant program that would support a range of research and training efforts aimed at strengthening the workforce to meet labor needs, and helping processors become federally inspected to increase capacity. NCBA President Jerry Bohn says the legislation “addresses both of those hurdles, and would go a long way to alleviating the bottleneck that is depressing live cattle prices for our farmers and ranchers.”