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Cattle Ranchers Say Meat Packer Monopoly is Threatening Their Way of Life

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Published on 08 Aug 2022 / In News and Politics

WHITE OWL, SD – Control of the food supply is a critical national security issue. In South Dakota, where farming and cattle are key to the backbone of the state's economy, this issue is taking center stage, especially with cattle ranchers. There are about five heads of cattle for every person in South Dakota, which is a lot of beef. But cattle ranchers say the problem isn't getting the meat to your plate, it's that the meat packers are taking most of the profits.

"There's four beef packers that control 85 percent of all the slaughter in the United States," said Les Shaw, a fourth generation cattle rancher in White Owl, South Dakota. "These four beef packers are recording profits of anywhere from $1,200 to as high as $2,000 a head during the pandemic where as the rancher is at break-even, even a loss," he said.

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