Earlier this week we told you that House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott had introduced the Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act, H.R 8590. The legislation, designed to help small farmers and ranchers in the cattle industry, would provide financial assistance by strengthening the safety net and create opportunities to increase competition and help small ranchers access new marketing opportunities.
While the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) says it’s not ready to back Scott’s bill, they note it is a much better starting point than Senator Chuck Grassley’s Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act.
NCBA’s Tanner Beymer notes while Scott’s bill would boost funding for a popular livestock insurance program, the cutoff for help is for cattlemen raising 100 or fewer head.
“It has certainly been a difficult couple of years for cattle producers in that category. But it has also been a difficult year for cattle producers who, for example, may raise or market between 101 and 250 head of cattle per year, which most of us in the cattle business would consider to also be small family producers.”
Chairman Scott said bills by his colleagues don’t stress direct help for small farmers and ranchers. His bill would boost Livestock Risk Protection premium subsidies for small ranchers and create USDA indemnity and direct-to-consumer marketing programs. Those would help to boost competition and offset large price spreads.
(The National Association of Farm Broadcasters contributed to this report)