We are living at the end of an era. It is true that history is transparent; fluid, while we are living it, even for the most prescient people, and that it is difficult to understand the implications of our era looking to the future. It is more difficult to pinpoint...
American Midwest Ranchers Build Their Own Processing Plants
The cost of commodities has threatened our economic survival, increasing gas, housing, and food costs at the top of that list. Our meat prices are out of control, so much so that Cattle Ranchers are building their own processing plants. This action is a long-overdue trend dating back to the 1970s when there was a consolidation in the beef industry that involved 80% of the nation’s slaughterhouses owned and run by four companies, Tyson Foods, National Beef Packing, Cargill, and JBS.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic crippled our nation’s economy and workforce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages a more diverse supply concerning the beef industry.
Rusty Kemp, a Nebraska Rancher, is leading the charge and states, “It’s probably time somebody does something about it.” With the $300 million from Ranchers, they will take their power back by building the slaughterhouses themselves and cutting out the middleman who is capitalizing and raising prices on the cost of meats.
This fall began the endeavor of building the Sustainable Beef plant that is taking place near North Platte, Nebraska, on some 400 acres. There is also talk of Ranchers in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Idaho, who will cut out the middleman and build their own slaughterhouse processing plants.
The USDA shows that during the mid-1970s, the number of livestock slaughter plants declined from 2,590 in 1977 to 1,387 in 1992, while big processors dominated, handling only 12% of cattle in 1977 to 65% by 1997.
These Midwestern Ranchers have no intention of replacing and competing against the powerhouse four companies located in 24 areas; however, they will equip their new facilities with more modern and updated tools of the trade, less employee turnover, and higher annual pay benefits, and work schedules.
This new work environment would create closer relationships with all involved ensuring the companies would market their beef domestically and internationally as a higher quality product.
There’s a revolution taking place within the Ranchers and Farming communities in the Midwest; Chad Tentinger is building a Cattlemen’s Heritage plant near Council Bluffs, Iowa, and said: “paying Ranchers more and providing dividends to those who own shares, hopes it will spur more plants to open, and the new competitors will add openness to cattle markets.”
According to the North American Meat Institute, a trade group that includes large and mid-size plants, the biggest challenge will be the shortage of workers in the industry. The average wage and benefits of $22.00 per hour currently leave not enough workers to fill these plants.
The question is whether the smaller plants will be able to pay Ranchers and still profit themselves?
Let’s not forget that China bestowed upon us the Coronavirus, but they started buying ownership of American meat plants, which looks and feels more like an economic pandemic.
The Coronavirus created a health pandemic and an economic crisis where Americans have to re-invent many aspects of their lifestyles. This is how we progress into a better future by stepping out of our comfort zones and creating new environments and ideas that add quality to our personal and professional lives.
I believe these Ranchers have the right idea to keep the middleman out and protect not only the quality of the meat but also the infrastructure of those whose passion it is to provide American meat products without being compromised.
America continues to witness the fight or flight mode in so many routine areas of our lives that we once took for granted. The Coronavirus pandemic combined with the Biden administration has created the perfect storm to assault our freedoms.
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