NCBA Joins Dialogue with Sec. Vilsack on Build Back Better Initiative
WASHINGTON (June 9, 2021) — Today, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association joined an agriculture industry call with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack to discuss the path forward for the recently-announced $4 billion Build Back Better initiative.
During the coalition call, there was a productive, positive dialogue on how funds could best be utilized to strengthen the security of the beef supply chain and increase opportunities for profitability for all sectors of the cattle industry.
In yesterday's announcement, USDA outlined four areas of focus for the program — food production, food processing, aggregation and distribution, and consumers and markets. The prevailing theme on the call was processing capacity, and Sec. Vilsack specifically cited the urgent need to expand capacity in the cattle and beef industry.
"I'm extremely optimistic about the priorities Sec. Vilsack expressed today, and the targeted interest he and his team have shown in improving business conditions for cattle producers," said NCBA CEO Colin Woodall. "The fact that the focus of his comments was on processing capacity signals that the Build Back Better initiative could be directly beneficial for NCBA members. We discussed new local and regional processing facilities, bringing federal inspection within reach for more state-inspected facilities, and maintaining open, transparent markets. A nimble, durable beef supply chain is good for cattle producers and consumers alike, and NCBA looks forward to working with Sec. Vilsack and his team as they build out these resources for producers."
Woodall also reiterated to Sec. Vilsack that demand for U.S. beef is high and cattle supply is high, but the chokepoint in the middle — caused by a lack of hook space — has stifled producer profitability and created unsustainable market dynamics.