Montana Senator Helps Chinese Giant Lock Up $200 Million of Cattle in Sweetheart Deal

Posted Leah Douglas Beef, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from usdagov on Flickr. During President Donald Trump’s recent trip to China, Montana Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) negotiated a $300 million beef cattle deal between the Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Chinese e-retailer JD.com. The deal calls for the retailer to buy $200 million of cattle between 2018 and 2020, and invest $100 million in a new […]

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Big Beef Seeks to Expand its Tax on Oklahoma Ranchers​

Posted Leah Douglas Beef, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from oskarlin on Flickr.  Big Ag is back on the offensive in Oklahoma, less than a year after voters defeated a bill that would have stripped the state’s residents of their ability to regulate corporate farming. The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association wants ranchers to pay an additional $1 tax per head of cattle sold in the […]

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Meat Giant JBS Continues to Grow in US Despite Contamination Scandal in Brazil​

Posted Leah Douglas Beef, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user rheinitz. Over the past month, health authorities in Europe, China, and Brazil have all temporarily pulled beef from the Brazilian meat giant JBS off of grocery store shelves, in response to evidence that the company was involved in a massive corruption scandal to export rotten and contaminated meat. Yet here at home, […]

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Ranchers, Facing Record Low Prices, Confront Surge of Brazilian Imports​

Posted Leah Douglas Beef, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo by unitedsoybean on Flickr. Cattle prices hit historic lows in some parts of the country in November, even as the first shipments of Brazilian beef arrived in U.S. ports after the USDA’s recent decision to lift a 13-year-old ban on that country. Ranchers say the combination will likely drive many American ranchers out of business. […]

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Big Beef

Posted Sid Mahanta Beef, Checkoff Programs, Sid Mahanta

Imagine if the federal government mandated that a portion of all federal gas taxes go directly to the oil industry’s trade association, the American Petroleum Institute. Imagine further that API used this public money to finance ad campaigns encouraging people to drive more and turn up their thermostats, all while lobbying to discredit oil industry critics—from environmentalists to those calling for better safety regulations or alternative energy sources.

That’s a deal not even Exxon could pull off, yet the nation’s largest meat-packers now enjoy something quite like it. Today, when you buy a Big Mac or a T-bone, a portion of the cost is a tax on beef, the proceeds from which the government hands over to a private trade group called the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. How did this system come into being? And what is the NCBA doing with all that money?