SDCA Applauds Introduction of Cattle Contract Library Bill

October 20, 2021

The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association applauds today’s introduction of legislation in the U.S. House that would establish a cattle contract library within USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The bill is being led by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX). 

 The SDCA has long advocated at the federal level for greater market transparency. Providing a more accurate information related to the price and volume of cattle purchases is essential to helping South Dakota cattle producers negotiate more confidently for competitive prices. The creation of a contract library would equip cattle producers with the market data they need to make informed business decisions and exert greater leverage in negotiations with the packers. The cattle contract library is a much needed as a tool for oversight, and would give lawmakers, agency officials, and producers critical information on activity taking place in the packing sector. 

 “Market transparency is a critical component of price discovery in cattle marketing. As the industry has evolved, most sales now taking place through alternative market agreements. We need a contract library to create transparency in those agreements to achieve better price discovery in the live cattle market. The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association has been advocating for a contract library and we applaud and thank Congressman Johnson and Congressman Cuellar for putting forth the legislation to fill this need,” SDCA President Eric Jennings said of the Cattle Contract Library Bill. 

 The need for a cattle contract library was one of three priorities agreed upon by NCBA, American Farm Bureau Federation, Livestock Marketing Association, National Farmers Union, R-CALF, and U.S. Cattlemen’s Association at a meeting in Phoenix, AZ in May 2021.