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Heartland cattle producer reacts to new USDA rules

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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WILLIAMSVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - Some new rules are meant to help America’s animal farmers.

The goal is to protect area farmers from large meat processors and encourage more competition in the agriculture industry.

That includes tightening the definition of what it means to be raised in the USA.

“As a producer, I want to sell my beef as Missouri made, Wayne County made,” Jeff Reed said.

Jeff Reed produces beef and serves as the Region 3 vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. He said he supports what the U.S. department of agriculture put out.

“I am committed to ensuring that the product of the USA label reflects what a plain understanding of those terms means to U.S. consumers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“I think it would be great if we can make sure that if we are producing a product that maybe we bring cattle across the border, making sure those are not labeled as product of the us and if they do have to mix those cattle in at certain yards, make sure that those cattle don’t get an American flag thrown on it,” Reed said.

He also wants to see locals gain more control of the packing industry.

“We’ve got four beef packers that own 86, 87 percent of the packing industry....That’s a food security issue and we have multiple issues with it,” Reed said.

So, he and others are working to pass some legislation to give the packers more accountability.

“Hopefully, we get that addressed this coming year,” he said.

According to the Associated Press, the Agriculture Department also plans to invest in new local and regional markets, so farmers will have more options for selling the animals and crops they raise.

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