Citing growing frustration with low cattle prices while beef packers reap large profits, a grassroots campaign was announced this week seeking the support of President Donald Trump. The campaign is scheduled to begin Sept. 23, 2019.
The Western Ag Reporter, Billings, MT, announced a Twitter campaign aimed at President Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account asking for his assistance in “rebalancing the cattle markets.”
In an editorial published by Western Ag Reporter, Joe Goggins, general manager of Public Auction Yards (PAYS), Billing MT, urged cattle producers to join Twitter and send President Trump a message.
“What the packers have done since the Tyson plant fire in my mind is criminal,” Goggins wrote. “You can call it unjust enrichment, pillaging, unfair business practices, whatever… I call it criminal.”
Goggins said his efforts to carry that message to Washington, D.C., garnered little response. However, he was told possibly the most effective way to reach the president was via Twitter.
“You have got to do it,” Goggins wrote, urging readers to set up a Twitter account. In a news release, Western Ag Reporter editors included instructions for setting up an account, and examples of tweets to send to @realDonaldTrump. The release urged the use of the hashtag, #FairCattleMarkets. (Instructions for setting up Twitter.) The release provided suggested Tweet examples.
Goggins noted that while cow-calf producers and cattle feeders own cattle from four months to a year or longer, accepting the risk and fighting the elements, packers only own the cattle for a few days and are making in excess of $250 per head.
“There is something really wrong with that picture,” Goggins wrote. “I’m not saying the packer doesn’t deserve to make good money. I am saying they don’t deserve to make $12.5 million per day at the cost of the cow-calf producer and independent cattle feeder.”
Western Ag Reporter, circ. 13,000, was founded in 1941 has been owned by the Goggins family since 1961. The current publisher is John Goggins.