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Cattle industry unrest continues

Photo courtesy of the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB)

The livestock industry – cattle and swine in Iowa – is the only sector of agriculture that is making money right now.

A huge grain crop has made feeding livestock cheap. The number of cattle and swine have been kept low enough that the demand is raising prices into levels of profitability. But there is a long running feud in the cattle industry that is not getting any better.

It is between the philosophy of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and groups that call themselves independent stock cattle producers.

The smaller cattle producers oppose concentration of the industry and control by packers. They have fought over the Beef Checkoff and its benefit to NCBA, and taken the issue all the way to the Supreme Court where it was ruled as legal to require producers to pay into the checkoff fund.

A spokesperson for the Rancher’s Cattlemen Legal Fund (R-CALF) recently spoke about their efforts and their alliances.