Welcome to the Friday edition of the HOT BARN REPORT
Heard ONLY on American radio stations across the nation and online at hotbarnreport.com!
Karina Jones, Field Director for R-Calf USA joins us each Friday from her ranch in the heart of Nebraska covering new and important cattle industry news and policy.
Back when a coke was a coke and a man’s word meant something! Thanks for tuning in to this special Friday edition of Hot Barn Report.
I think we are all aware of the changing times around us. Farmers and ranchers are some of the most trusting people on earth. But it doesn’t seem that everyone whom we deal with has our best interests in mind.
As reported on agweb.com this week, “A jury in a New Mexico court has awarded a cattle producer a multi-million-dollar judgement against Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., over a contract dispute.
A final judgement ordered Tyson to pay more than $2.5 million in actual damages plus another $8 million in punitive damages to Zia Agricultural Consulting LLC.
Albuquerque-based Zia had sued Tyson in May of 2020 alleging the packer had breached a 2019 premium contract after it failed to pay $2.488 million. Zia was to provide several thousand head of premium cattle which were suitable for Whole Foods’ Global Animal Partnership-certified program and/or non-hormone treated cattle.”
So, you mean to tell me that not only are alternative marketing agreements anti-competitive, but it seems that in some cases the other party, in this case Tyson, doesn’t feel the need to hold up their end of the contract.
Forget about a handshake, I guess contracts don’t mean much these days either. This isn’t the first time we have seen a Big 4 Packer short cattle producers and get caught. Remember back in 2018 when the USDA imposed a $50,000 civil penalty against JBS USA and required restitution to producers after JBS’ plant in Grand Island, Nebraska, did not accurately track weights, grades and prices for cattle carcasses on accounts to sellers.
In the last few years, we have seen a rash of lawsuits brought forward by meat wholesalers and retailers alleging the Big 4 were price gouging them and COVID profiteering. We know that R-CALF and cattle producers have monumental anti-trust lawsuit in the discovery phase in the District Court of Minnesota, alleging anti-competitive behavior by the Big 4 towards cattle producers.
While all of the litigative flurry is taking place across the US, there seems to be one common denominator in every case, The Big 4! But yet, our own US Department of Justice and USDA continue to take their sweet time investigating and enforcing laws on the books. And some lawmakers still want to compromise with these actors which I will never understand. Meanwhile, rural America and the cattle industry shrivels up like a raisin in this July sun.
Monte will be back on Monday with all the action from the hottest barns in the nation that power this program: Torrington, Presho, Lemmon, Bassett, North Platte, Creighton, Stockman’s, Mobridge, Platte, and Crawford!
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