Beef Buzz News
President-Elect of KLA, Shawn Tiffany, asks Congress not to Limit the use of AMA'sWed, 27 Apr 2022 09:48:21 CDT
President-Elect of Kansas Livestock Association, Shawn Tiffany, fights for cattle producers as he testifies on Capitol Hill. The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Tuesday, April 27, to review Senate Bill 4030, the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency act of 2022. This bill, also referred to as the Fischer-Grassley Bill, includes a cattle marketing mandate. Senate bill 3870, the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022, was also reviewed.
There were two officials in the USDA in favor of these measures introduced by Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer and Iowa Chuck Senator Grassley and cattle producers from Mississippi and North Dakota. One person not in favor was rancher Shawn Tiffany of Herrington, Kansas.
“Price discovery, market transparency, access to additional processing capacity, and proper oversight of cattle markets are important to me and all cattle producers,” Tiffany said. “However, neither the bills being discussed today represent the right approach to these issues. I am opposed to these bills and asked the committee not to advance either.”
The vast majority of cattle producers, Tiffany said, oppose the government mandating a minimum level of negotiated trade. In February, Tiffany said NCBA adopted a policy opposing government mandates on cattle marketing methods.
“KLA joined with 29 other NCBA affiliates in a letter to this committee expressing opposition to marketplace mandates,” Tiffany said. “I can tell you, those members overwhelmingly believe cattle producers should have the opportunity to market their cattle how they see fit without arbitrary limitations imposed by the federal government.”
After the hearing, Tiffany offered senators an explanation of why the Grassley-Fischer bill will be devastating for his business.
“Tiffany Cattle Company is a custom cattle feeding business,” Tiffany said. “What that means is the cattle in our feed yards are owned by other cattle producers.”
Cattle producers place their cattle with us, Tiffany said, and we provide feed and care during the finishing phase. One of the services we provide our customers with, Tiffany said, is marketing their cattle when they are ready for harvest.
“We work with multiple packers using several different marketing methods to maximize the value our customers receive for their high-quality cattle,” Tiffany said. “A mandated minimum level of negotiated trade will limit my ability to maximize the value my customers receive for their cattle.”
Furthermore, Tiffany said a mandate on the Packers will force packers to discontinue some alternative marketing programs to meet minimum negotiated trade mandates. His customers, Tiffany said, customers will then lose their ability to access value-added marketing when this occurs.
“Neither myself nor my customers will be given the option to choose because the mandate and the power to comply with the mandate will rest with the packer,” Tiffany said.
Shawn Tiffany made a very strong case for AMA’s, alternative marketing arrangements, by saying the AMA’s allow the cattle producer to capture more of the value when their cattle yield beef products with average attributes that the customer is willing to pay for.
“My brother and I built our first-generation business from 10 customers to over 200 customers by having access to quality-based premium programs,” Tiffany said, “Not only has our own business grown, but those of our current customers as well because AMA's have allowed them to be paid for the exceptionally high-quality cattle they raise.”
Tiffany said increased use of AMA's is correlated with improved beef quality.
“When packers pay for quality, farmers and ranchers are incentivized to produce it,” Tiffany said. “In the year 2000, about 60% of fed cattle graded choice or better. Today, that number is more than 80%.”
That improved quality, Tiffany said, has led to better beef-eating experiences, which has led to increased consumer demand for beef both domestically and internationally. AMA's have helped the cattle industry better meet consumer preferences, and consumers are gravitating towards our beef because of the high quality and the unique brands we have developed, Tiffany added.
“I ask Congress not to limit my use of AMA's, which have helped make these quality improvements possible,” Tiffany said.
To read Senate Bill 4030, Click Here.
To read Senate Bill 3870, Click Here.
To watch the legislative hearing to review S. 4030 and S. 3870, Click Here.
Listen to more of Shawn Tiffany speaking on the use of AMA's by clicking the LISTEN BAR below.
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