USCA testimony highlights market volatility, opportunities for success

Farm Forum

WASHINGTON – On May 26, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) testified during the Senate hearing, “A Review of the U.S. Livestock and Poultry Sectors: Marketplace Opportunities and Challenges”. Joe Goggins (Billings, Montana), Vice President Vermilion Ranch Co., Public Auction Yards, Billings Livestock Commission Co., Western Livestock Auction and Northern Livestock Video Auction, testified on behalf of USCA.

Goggins was joined on the hearing panel by Mr. Tracy Brunner, President, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Mr. Ronald Truex, Chairman, United Egg Producers; Dr. Howard Hill, Past President, National Pork Producers Council; and Mr. John Zimmerman, Producer, National Turkey Federation/Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. The witnesses represented a wide range of voices in the livestock industry and brought unique perspectives from each sector of the supply chain.

Goggins’ testimony focused on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the U.S. livestock industry while also noting several contributing factors to both the current market volatility and issues that will aid the industry in the years to come.

Goggins specifically referenced ways in which the industry can continue to enhance transparency, achieve market stability and encourage improvements and innovation across industry standards. “The 2018 Farm Bill offers a timely vehicle for addressing many of the issues discussed today. Whether it be a continued emphasis on beginning farmer and rancher programs or addressing necessary revisions and modernizations in current market regulations, today’s hearing offered a chance to spotlight these issues and begin constructive dialogue on each.”

Goggins reiterated a concluding point from his testimony, “We look forward to working with everyone in the livestock industry to examine the fundamentals and functions of the cattle market in order to bring back competition, transparency, and true price discovery. I appreciate the opportunity to have testified today and thank Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for convening this hearing.”