NCBA leader says the beef industry learned from the Tyson fire


NCBA leader says the beef industry learned from the Tyson fire

The President-Elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the 2019 fire at Tyson’s Holcomb, Kansas packing facility was a tragedy, but the industry learned from it.

Don Schiefelbein from Minnesota says, “I think we needed to get a wake-up call and figure out how reliant we were on these packers, and how tight packer capacity is.”

Don Schiefelbein

Schiefelbein tells Brownfield more processing opportunities are needed to help bring producers a better share of what consumers are paying for beef. “When you hit that little bottleneck called the packer group, all of the sudden, your negotiated power and your leverage goes to zero as soon as you have one more head than there is packer space to be fulfilled.”

And he says NCBA supports recently introduced legislation to help expand meat processing including the Butcher Block Act. “A lot of that infrastructure that we’re needing, building these packing plants is not easy and you want to be able to have these created without the strings attached of the large major packers having a huge influence.”

Schiefelbein spoke to Brownfield during the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association Summer Production Tour Saturday.