New Report Indicates Government Interference in Beef & Cattle Markets has Unintended Consequences

Dan Beef, Cattle, Marketing


In response to a bipartisan request from the House Agriculture Committee, Texas A&M University has completed a comprehensive report on the U.S. cattle and beef markets written by leading economists across the country. Among its key findings is that proposals increasing government intervention and mandates will cost livestock producers billions of dollars.

“Thursday the House Agriculture Committee will hold the fourth Congressional hearing this year on beef and cattle markets. It is no surprise that the Texas A&M analysis reflects the expert testimony at each hearing: supply and demand have the most influence on the price of cattle and goods for consumers,” said Meat Institute President and CEO, Julie Anna Potts.

The analysis is a 180 page book called “The U.S. Beef Supply Chain: Issues and Challenges,” and is the result of a collaboration with Texas A&M’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center, national experts and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The Texas A&M book went one step further and examined current legislative proposals and found these proposals’ unintended consequences will harm those they are meant to protect: cattle producers,” Potts said. “This book should be required reading for Members of Congress who want to help livestock producers and consumers.”


One of the most significant findings was regarding government mandates included in proposed legislation by Members of Congress (called the 50/14 or 30/14 proposals) to require minimum negotiated cash market purchases. Dr. Stephen R. Koontz, Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University found:

“The short-term impact for a policy most like that being considered is a $2.5 billion negative impact in the first year and a cumulative negative impact of $16 billion over 10 years, inflated to 2021 dollars. This cost is leveled mainly on cattle producers,” said Koontz. “The 50/14 proposal would have these negative impacts and the 30/14 would have similar negative impacts albeit approximately halved.”

Similar to the experts and economists who have testified before Congress, the book’s introduction contains this warning:

“In the meantime, we would urge extreme caution in making changes to a system that has grown organically over time to reward high-quality beef production in a way that acknowledges regional differences throughout the country.”

For more information, go to the Meat Institute website: