North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) President Dan Rorvig, a McVille, N.D., cow-calf producer, said the 3,000-member beef cattle trade organization is doing what it can to help lessen the effects of a fire and the subsequent shutdown of a Tyson beef processing plant on North Dakota beef producers. The 6,000
head-per-day processing plant in Holcomb, Kan., which burned earlier this month, represented approximately 6 percent of the nation’s total beef processing production capacity. The situation sent ripples through the industry, as evidenced by limit-down drops in both the live cattle and feeder cattle futures last week.
“The Stockmen’s Association understands the seriousness of this situation, the displacement that it will cause and the uncertainty it brings,” said Rorvig. “We are working to minimize the impact on our cattlemen and women.”
The NDSA briefed North Dakota’s Congressional delegation, governor’s office, Department of Agriculture and House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders about the situation.
Among its other efforts, the NDSA sent letters to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, urging its enhanced monitoring to guard against anyone who tries to manipulate the market, illegally capitalize on the situation and devastate the nation’s cattle industry.
Similarly, the NDSA reached out to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, calling for enhanced scrutiny by the Packers and Stockyards Division, as well as an allowance for U.S. Department of Agriculture meat inspectors and graders to be able to work expanded shifts and work weeks to keep up with what will surely be longer schedules at other processing facilities that receive displaced cattle. “This will be critical to help keep our beef supply and our market current,” said Rorvig.
Rorvig also penned a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation on behalf of the organization to request an immediate hours-of-service waiver for livestock truckers who will be forced to travel longer distances to deliver cattle to other processing facilities while the Holcomb plant is out of commission.
Additionally, the NDSA will be hosting Troy Applehans, a CattleFax market analyst, to give insight into the cattle market and the factors affecting it during its upcoming convention. Applehans will speak during the NDSA’s opening session on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Grand Hotel in Minot, N.D. Information and pre-registration forms can be found at www.ndstockmen.org.
“The Stockmen’s Association reports to work for North Dakota’s
beef producers every day,” said Rorvig. “We are working to bring stability and
certainty in uncertain times.”