Sen. Rounds holds meeting with ranchers & cattle producers

ST. ONGE, S.D. — On Friday, Senator Mike Rounds held a meeting with ranchers and cattle producers about resolution regarding the production and sale of cattle.

It’s part of an ongoing effort in Washington, to level the playing field, for the agriculture community when it comes to american markets. Rounds recently introduced legislation urging President Trump and his team to enter into agreements that would allow for the full implementation of mandatory country of origin labeling, or “M-COOL”, for beef products in the United States.

The resolution would require retailers to inform customers what country beef commodities originated in. Consumers would be provided the transparency they desire when choosing meat, and would also allow for  competitive pricing among producers.

“The Department of Agriculture has rules that allow other countries to sell their beef in the United States, and all that these packers have to do is to repackage it, and then they can call it a product of the USA, and that’s absolutely wrong, and the american consumer should be just outraged by it,” said Rounds.

Senator Rounds has also urged The Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into allegations of anti-competitive activity among top meat packers and unlawful price fixing within the cattle market.

“They don’t think it’s fair that they bring in beef from other countries where you don’t know what they’ve added in, what the chemicals have been, what the illnesses have been that other countries are still fighting over that we’ve eliminated in the United States. If our farmers and ranchers can’t make it, it’s not very long and we’re dependent on other countries, and that puts us at risk.”

Rounds has also introduced legislation that would allow state sponsored packing plants that meet federal guidelines to sell across state lines.  This is particularly important with the current pandemic, as cattle slaughter in the U.S. is considerably lower than this time last year, creating a backlog of cattle waiting to be processed.

Allowing sales across state lines would create greater competition and more options for consumers.

“Now we’re getting to the point of being able to say, ‘you will be able to be assured with that label on it, that it is coming from, born in the United States, raised in the United States, fed in the United States, and harvested in the united states’,” said Rounds “That’s what we’re after.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News