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ANTITRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST PACKERS TO                                                  The Midwest Cattleman · September 30, 2021 · P10
                           MOVE FORWARD                                     CLIMATE GOAL                      sure and document those ef-
                                By Greg Henderson                                                             forts.”
                                                                            continued from page 3
         America’s     largest     beef                                                                          These goals are the culmi-
      packers, JBS SA, Tyson Foods                                          producer profitability and  nation of a grassroots, ranch-
      Inc., Cargill Inc., and Nation-                                       economic sustainability by  er-led process.  The Sustain-
      al Beef Packing Co. must face                                         2025.                             ability Goals Task Force was
      antitrust litigation over an                                            •Enhance trust in cat- formed in 2021 to evaluate
      alleged industrywide scheme                                           tle  producers  as  responsible  the current state of U.S. beef
      to widen the  “meat margin”                                           stewards of their animals  cattle sustainability, deter-
      between the cost of live cat-                                         and  resources  by  expanding  mine which improvements
      tle and the price of processed     packers conspired to  depress      educational opportunities in  are most critical and help
      beef, a federal judge in Minne-    the price of fed cattle they pur-  animal care and handling  share the story of progress.
      apolis ruled recently.             chased from American ranch-        programs to further improve  Members of this working
         Judge John R. Tunheim de-       ers, thereby inflating their       animal well-being.                group — cattle farmers and
      nied the defendants' motion        own margins and profits.             •Continuously        improve ranchers from across the
      to dismiss the class-action           The  class  action  lawsuit     our    industry’s    workforce United States — led the pro-
      antitrust suit filed in  April     seeks to recover the losses        safety and well-being.            cess and made all decisions,
      2019 by R-CALF USA.  The           suffered by two classes be-          “Cattlemen and women  including setting the sus-
      case may move forward in the       lieved harmed by the packing       have    demonstrated       their tainability goals.
      U.S. District Court for the Dis-   companies’ alleged conduct.        commitment to sustainabili-          “Sustainability is, and will
      trict of Minnesota, where the      The first class includes cattle    ty for generations. They work  continue to be, an incredibly
      four meatpackers are accused       producers who sold fed cattle      tirelessly to protect the land,  important part of what we
      of forcing the cost of cattle      to  any  one  of  the  firms  from   water and air resources in  do, and I’m proud that my
      down, and the price of beef        January 2015 to the present.       their care.  Through count- fellow leaders across the cat-
      up, through cartel tactics like    The second class consists of       less improvements in genet- tle industry have taken these
      coordinated procurement and        traders who transacted live        ics, grazing management,  important              steps,”    Smith
      “slaughter restraint.”             cattle futures or options con-     manure handling and the  said. “As our country and the
         The lawsuit alleges the four    tracts on the Chicago Mer-         adoption of many other tech- world examine risks asso-
      packers violated the Sherman       cantile Exchange (CME) from        nologies, this is just the next  ciated with climate change
      Antitrust Act of 1890 by en-       January 2015 to the present.       step on our industry’s path,”  and        other     sustainability
      gaging in a price-fixing con-      The complaint, which  plain-       said Marty Smith, a Florida  challenges, our commitment
      spiracy, and alleges the pack-     tiffs claim is supported by        cattleman and NCBA past  to sustainability positions us
      ers violated the Packers and       witness accounts, including a      president. “Producers  de- to play an even bigger role in
      Stockyards Act as well as the      former employee of one of the      serve recognition for their  mitigating these risks in the
      Commodity Exchange Act.            packers, trade records, and        use of cutting-edge practices  future.”
         Tunheim’s order allows the      economic evidence, alleges         and technologies that mini-          To learn more about the
      antitrust case to proceed to       that the packers conspired to      mize environmental impact.  cattle industry’s sustain-
      discovery so Plaintiffs may        artificially depress fed cattle    By  setting goals, we’re pub- ability goals, go to
      test their claims.                 prices through various means.      licly committing to continu- sustainability.
         The suit alleges that from                                         ous improvement and setting       NCBA
      at least January 1, 2015,  Drovers                                    targets that allow us to mea-
      through the present, the four

         HOURS OF SERVICE WAIVERS EXTENDED                                  LIFE                              As one of my classmates and
                    FOR LIVESTOCK HAULERS                                   continued from page 5             I, pulled up the class of 1970,
                                 By Jennifer Shike                          proudly on their wall of fame.    displayed in high-tech, digi-
         The Federal Motor Carri- then require 10 consecutive               Sadly, I didn’t find any that     tized and colorized format, I
      er Safety  Administration ap- hours of rest.                          were older than the 1980s.        muttered,  “I wonder where
      proved an extension of the ex-        "When transporting live-        Later that day, I ran into        the original is?”
                                                                                                                 “Probably in a storage clos-
      emption from hours-of-service  stock, there is a real need for        the current  Ag teacher and
      (HOS) requirements for live- further flexibility beyond the           asked him about trophies          et, somewhere,” he replied.
                                                                                                                 As the day came to a close,
      stock haulers through the end  current  hours-of-service.  Un-        and plaques from the sixties
      of November.                       like drivers moving consum-        and seventies. “Well, we don’t    and everyone started saying
                                                                                                              their good-byes, my old friend
         The announcement made  er goods, livestock haulers                 have room for all of them,” he
      on Aug. 31 will allow livestock  cannot  simply idle  or  unload      replied, “but we never throw      from the first-grade class of
                                                                                                              1958, said,  “Well, I hope to
      haulers flexibility to promote  their  trucks  when  drive  time      anything away. They’re prob-
      the well-being of livestock  hours run out without jeopar-            ably in the storage closet.”      see you, right here, for our
                                                                                                              60th reunion, in nine years.”
      during hauls, and to keep gro- dizing animal health and wel-            Once upon a time, the
                                                                                                                 “I hope to be here, as
      cery stores stocked, the Na- fare," NCBA said in a release.           group pictures of every grad-     well.” I replied. “If, by some
      tional Cattlemen's Beef Associ-    AgDay                              uating class, hung some-
      ation (NCBA) said in a release.                                       where in the hallways. Now,       chance  you’re here, and I’m
                                                                                                              not around, just start looking
         Livestock haulers have been                                        there is a giant screen  TV
      operating under an HOS ex-                                            that    shines     continuous-    around the building. I’ll prob-
                                                                                                              ably  be  in  a  storage  closet,
      emption since the beginning of                                        ly, near the entrance of the
      the COVID-19 pandemic and                                             building, that can (if you        somewhere.”
      maintaining a strong safety                                           know how to work it) instant-
      record.                                                               ly pull up those group photo-
         Current HOS rules allow                                            graphs, without walking all
      for 11 hours of drive time, 14                                        the hallways in the school.
      hours of on-duty time, and
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