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Gianforte Urges Congress to Investigate Nation’s Cattle Markets

October 22, 2019
Press Release

Today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Greg Gianforte drew lawmakers’ attention to the nation’s cattle markets and urged Congress to investigate them.

Gianforte highlighted the August fire at a beef packing plant in Holcomb, Kansas and its impact on the cattle markets. He described how cattle prices have fallen while retail beef prices have hit a four-year high.

Gianforte updated the House on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s investigation, saying, “I asked Secretary Perdue to investigate the cattle market following the Holcomb fire, and he agreed. USDA expects the investigation to wrap up by the end of the year.”

Gianforte then called on Congress to investigate the nation’s cattle markets.

“I urge the House to do right by America’s ranchers and also look into the cattle market,” Gianforte said. “Montana ranchers produce the world’s best beef, but current conditions in the market are hurting them. They deserve an explanation and to be treated fairly.”

Download video of Gianforte’s remarks HERE

In September, Gianforte led a bipartisan effort to aid cattle producers and live-cattle haulers who faced a crisis because of the fire at the Holcomb processing plant.

Also in September, Gianforte and U.S. Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urging a swift and transparent investigation into the fire.

Gianforte’s remarks as prepared:

Madam Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to the state of our nation’s cattle markets.

Following the August fire at Tyson’s beef packing plant in Holcomb, Kansas, live cattle prices hit a five-year low. At the same time, retail beef prices rose.

It makes sense: if you can process less cattle, there’s an oversupply in the market and less processed beef, which increases retail beef prices.

But the Holcomb processing plant represented only five percent of America’s processing capacity. And yet, live cattle prices fell 11 percent while retail prices hit their highest levels since 2015.

I asked Secretary Perdue to investigate the cattle market following the Holcomb fire, and he agreed. USDA expects the investigation to wrap up by the end of the year.

I urge the House to do right by America’s ranchers and also look into the cattle market.

Montana ranchers produce the world’s best beef, but current conditions in the market are hurting them. They deserve an explanation and to be treated fairly.

I look forward to a full accounting of the cattle market, and I yield back.