Senate author of a bill to help independent cattle producers compete against the major packers says heâ€™s not worried the chair of the House Ag Committee has introduced a possibly competing bill.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley on House Ag Chair David Scottâ€™s Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act.
â€œI donâ€™t think that itâ€™s a problem for my bill. I havenâ€™t read his bill, and Iâ€™m not sure I understand the motivations for it. If it comes because of the increased costs of production, because of inflation, and because of diesel prices and all the stuff connected with increased costs of farming is one thing.â€
Like Grassley, Scott seeks to boost competition and help offset large price spreads, but by using bigger insurance subsidies and new marketing programs instead of mandating negotiated pricing. Still, Grassley insists; â€œIâ€™ve been working with Chairman Scott for years now, and he knows where I stand on behalf of Iowa farmers, so I wouldnâ€™t think heâ€™d be doing anything in conflict with our goals. But maybe I ought to read his legislation before I comment any more.â€
But the National Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Association did comment this week, arguing Scottâ€™s bill is â€œfar more preferableâ€ than Grassleyâ€™s Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act. Grassleyâ€™s bill won a bipartisan vote in the Senate Ag Committee last month but has yet to get a vote on the Senate floor.