Livestock market transparency takes the spotlight on Capitol Hill as two bills make it past the House floor, legislation that would extend the authorization for livestock mandatory reporting (LMR) through the end of September.

Veselka carrie
Editor / Progressive Cattle

As it stands, LMR and its federal funding expires Feb. 18, 2022. The legislation, introduced by House Ag Committee Chair David Scott (D-Georgia) and supported by Ranking Member Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-Pennsylvania), was unanimously approved by the ag committee and received a House vote of 418-9.

Scott Bennett, director of congressional relations with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), said LMR is critical legislation to ranchers because it requires sale barns and packers to disclose their purchase prices. “This information is relied upon heavily by ranchers for transparency in livestock markets,” he said. “Without an extension of LMR, ranchers would be in the dark over the value of their livestock because reporting would no longer be required by law.”

The wait isn’t finished yet. The Senate still needs to pass similar legislation before the president can sign the bill into law and, according to Bennett, such a measure may face more resistance in the Senate.

The House also passed the Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation, introduced in October by Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-South Dakota) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), passed with a House vote of 411-13. This legislation is intended to create a cattle contract library within the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and give cattle producers more market data they can use to make more informed business decisions. Supporters of the legislation also claim the contract library would give producers greater leverage in negotiations with major meatpackers.


Cattle industry groups have been mostly optimistic at the passage of these measures. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has been vocal in support of both bills and is optimistic of the LMR extension making it to the finish line. “The fact that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Scott and Ranking Member Thompson have both been vocal champions for LMR reauthorization is yet another indication of the broad-base support this measure has among producers across the country. LMR is absolutely essential to fair, competitive and transparent cattle markets,” said NCBA President Jerry Bohn.

Bennett said the AFBF was also excited to see a bill passed through the House that would create a cattle contract library, but that the reauthorization of LMR takes priority. “We also support the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, but not at the expense of LMR reauthorization,” he said. “That remains priority number one for [the] American Farm Bureau.”