“And through that cycle, the big corporate packers get filthy rich, and we squeeze out the small guy,” said Justin Tupper, a South Dakota cow-calf producer, and manager of the St. Onge livestock auction.

Yesterday, the Senate Ag Committee held a hearing on the challenges facing the cattle industry, including packer concentration, lack of competition, low prices paid to producers and meatpackers’ record profits.

Missouri’s own Dr. Mary Hendrickson from the University of Missouri testified and fielded questions from Senators. “The distribution of power in the food system, embodied in the power to make decisions about what food is produced, how, where and by whom, as well as who gets to eat and what they get to eat, becomes a focus of concern when that decision-making power is concentrated in the hands of managers and boards of directors of transnational agri-food companies,” said Hendrickson. “To meet shareholder expectations, these firms look to their bottom line not their impact on farmers, communities, consumers or the natural world.”

Our elected representatives in Congress need to get to work and strengthen & enforce anti-trust laws, break up the 4 multi-national meatpackers, and pass policies that result in producers getting a fair share of the consumer dollar.