Letter Signed by Farm and Ranch Groups Supports MCOOL

by Grace McDonald

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today announced endorsements from national and regional farm and ranch advocacy groups for his fight to include mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) in the 2024 Farm Bill.

This letter is endorsed by R-CALF USA, the US Cattleman’s Association, the National Farmers Union, North Dakota Farmers Union, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, South Dakota Farmers Union, Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, Independent Cattleman of Wyoming, Buckeye Quality Beef Association (OH), Cattle Producers of Washington, Montana Farmers Union, Montana Cattleman’s Association, Nebraska Farmers Union, Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA), Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers Association, Cattle Producers of Washington, Texas Farmers Union, Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE), Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association, Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Southern Colorado Livestock Association, Stevens County Cattleman’s Association and Rural Vermont. Members of the United State Senate have an opportunity to add their name to the Rounds MCOOL letter until July 12.

“I am pleased that farm and ranch advocacy groups from across the nation are supportive of the effort to put MCOOL in the Farm Bill,” said Rounds. “American producers want their high-quality, domestic beef product labeled appropriately when put on the shelf next to foreign beef. Consumers want to know that they’re truly buying American products. Thank you to everyone who has joined this effort so far.”

“Country of origin labels on beef are essential for promoting competition in the grocery store,” said Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA. “With them, consumers can choose from which country they want their beef produced. Without them, it is the multinational beef packers that choose from which country the consumers’ beef will be sourced. Consumers deserve the right to choose and we applaud Senator Mike Rounds for taking this important step to ensure that mandatory country of origin labeling for beef is included in the 2024 Farm Bill.”

“The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) strongly support the effort to reinstate Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) for beef in the 2024 Farm Bill,” said Justin Tupper, President of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. “Ensuring transparency in our beef markets not only upholds consumer rights but also significantly supports our domestic producers by highlighting the quality and origins of American beef. Mandatory labeling will empower consumers with the knowledge they deserve and help maintain the integrity and competitiveness of our U.S. cattle industry. Together, we can ensure our producers thrive and our consumers are well-informed. We thank Senator Rounds for his leadership and commitment to championing the needs of American producers and consumers.”

“I commend Senator Mike Rounds for pushing to restore mandatory Country of Origin labeling in the Farm Bill,” said Rob Larew, President of the National Farmers Union. “Americans deserve the right to know where their meat comes from. It’s about fairness for our farmers and ranchers, and empowering consumers with the knowledge they need to choose wisely at the grocery store.”

“Knowing it’s a heavy lift hasn’t stopped Senator Rounds. Like SDFU, he is fighting for truth for family farmers, ranchers and consumers in his letter asking the Senate Agriculture Committee for MCOOL inclusion in the next Farm Bill,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. “American consumers have long supported knowing where their food comes from. It’s time once again for MCOOL to have its place in the Farm Bill. We strongly support Senators Rounds’ effort and encourage other senators who claim they want more farm in the Farm Bill to put their signatures next to Senator Rounds and others on this bipartisan legislation.”

“The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has stood behind MCOOL since the 2002 Farm Bill in support of indicating on the packaging label the origin of which the meat has come from,” said Doris Lauing, Executive Director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. “Our organization represents farmers and ranchers who work hard to produce high-quality products and deserve to have our beef recognized as produced here instead of a foreign country. We don’t understand why every senator and legislator doesn’t want to help provide consumers the information that our beef has been born, raised and processed in the United States. Again, we applaud Senator Rounds for leading the efforts. It is our hopes that he is successful in taking this over the finish line through the 2024 Farm Bill with everyone’s cooperation and help.”

As the deadline for the Farm Bill approaches on September 30, different policy frameworks have been unveiled by each party in both the House and the Senate, with the House framework already having passed through the House Agriculture Committee. Producers from South Dakota and across the nation have expressed strong support for including a MCOOL solution in the Farm Bill.  

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U.S. Senator Rounds Newsroom

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