January 25, 2021
United States President Joe Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of America’s independent cattle farmers and ranchers we applaud your “Made in America” Executive Order signed today that strengthens buy American provisions and ensures the future of America is made in America by all of America’s workers.
Please know, however, the single largest segment of American agriculture comprised of three-quarters of a million family farmers and ranchers – the U.S. live cattle industry – can neither assist you in carrying out your Order nor benefit at all from your Order. That is because the product produced from their cattle – U.S.-born, -raised, and -harvested beef – is no longer distinguishable from imported beef or beef from imported cattle following Congress’ repeal of the U.S. mandatory country of origin labeling law (m-COOL) for beef in 2015.
Therefore, until your Administration and/or Congress reinstates m-COOL for beef, your Order as it may apply to directing U.S.-sourced beef for federal procurement programs, including school lunches, will remain untenable; and recipients of such programs will as likely as not be receiving beef sourced exclusively from foreign cattle. Even when beef is affixed with a voluntary “Product of U.S.A.” label, that label denotes only that the product has received minimal processing in the U.S., such as being unwrapped from its original package and re-wrapped in a new package.
America’s hard-working family cattle farmers and ranchers deserve the opportunity for both their government and America’s consumers to choose to purchase beef from cattle exclusively born, raised and harvested in the United States. We have drafted proposed legislation to accomplish this important goal and would be pleased to share it with you at your request.
R-CALF USA is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States and we wish to work with you to ensure that America’s family-owned cattle farms and ranches can participate in building a future for America where Americans can choose to purchase American beef, an action that will strengthen America’s domestic food supply chain.
Bill Bullard, CEO (406-670-8157) email@example.com
January 25, 2021