House Lawmakers Introduce Cattle Library Contracts Bill

House lawmakers Wednesday announced a bill to create a library for cattle contracts within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service Department. Cattlemen are currently unaware of contract terms offered by packers, leading to a decline in leverage for smaller producers during price negotiations. South Dakota Republican Dusty Johnson and Texas Democrat Henry Cueller introduced the bipartisan Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021. USDA maintains a pork contract library, and following significant volatility in the cattle market and the release of the July 2020 Boxed Beef & Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report, the creation of a library was recommended by experts and stakeholders. Representative Johnson states, “Data drives marketing decisions and a contract library will provide much-needed leverage for independent producers.” The legislation received broad support from the American Farm Bureau Federation, National, Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, National Farmers Union, and the Livestock Marketing Association.