WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture launched its pilot Cattle Contracts Library on Jan. 31. The pilot library can be found on Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) website.
As directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, the USDA created a library to house key terms, conditions and volumes under which cattle are contracted. Through this resource, producers can have increased transparency and be empowered to negotiate on fair terms.
“USDA is committed to creating a more level playing field for cattle producers and a more balanced, equitable economy for everyone working in food and agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program supports this commitment by providing producers with the market information they need to make informed production, marketing and business decisions.”
USDA published a working library last year that carried the same look and feel as the pilot library. The major difference, USDA said, is the pilot library is populated with active contracts.
AMS plans to further enhance the program with more features to come. The agency will display information on the number of head of cattle moving through current contracts. Additionally, it will offer volume information by contract specification for quality, breed, weight, source-verified and others.
Following the pilot library’s launch, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) expressed excitement for the new resource.
"We have been looking forward to the launch of the Cattle Contract Library pilot program and will review the product to determine if its current format provides value to cattle producers,” said Tanner Beymer, senior director of government affairs at NCBA. “We will continue engaging with officials at the US Department of Agriculture and providing feedback on this resource.”
AMS is holding a series of webinars in the coming months to give stakeholders an understanding of how to use the Cattle Contracts Library. The first webinar is scheduled for Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. ET.