Quick turnaround between the purchase and resale of cattle by a dealer often leaves the rancher who originally owned the cattle with little recourse if a dealer defaults on a purchase because the livestock often already have been resold. New bipartisan legislation would address the problem of dealer payment default.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) joined Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) and a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act. The SALE Act would establish dealer statutory trusts, mimicking existing packer statutory trusts for the purpose of ensuring that cattle sellers receive payment should a livestock dealer become insolvent.
“In any industry, accountability is important. The SALE Act will make sure both livestock dealers and farmers are protected moving forward without negatively impacting their bottom line,” Grassley said.
The 2018 farm bill contained a provision (Section 12103) directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a livestock dealer statutory trust. The results of the study came out in December 2019 and helped inform the senators’ ongoing effort to establish the creation of a Livestock Dealer Statutory Trust.
Additional original co-sponsors include: Sens. Tina Smith (D., Minn.), Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.), Steve Daines (R., Mont.), Joni Ernst (R., Iowa), John Hoeven (R., N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R., Miss.) and Jon Tester (D., Mont.).
“The Iowa Cattlemen’s Assn. thanks Sen. Grassley for championing the SALE Act. Producers deserve the assurance to know they are first in line to get paid for the livestock they own, and we hope that Congress moves forward to pass this important legislation,” Matt Deppe, chief executive officer of the Iowa Cattlemen Assn., said.
The full text of the bill can be found here.