Thanks to our colleagues at Western Ag Reporter for getting this started. We’re behind any effort that helps agriculture succeed!
Click here to read Joe Goggins’ op-ed and call for Tweets to President Trump.
Media outlets, top ag influencers call for help in alerting the government about plummeting cattle prices
In the wake of the Tyson beef processing facility fire, it has been increasingly apparent how lopsided the cattle market has become in the United States. Western Ag Reporter has put out a call to tweet President Donald Trump with the hashtag #FairCattleMarkets in an effort to bring government attention to this issue. We would like to encourage you to make your voice heard regarding this issue through social media, calls or letters to the President, your local Senator or Representative, and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Below you will find information and resources to contact your elected officials as well as articles we have written regarding this issue.
Jump to section:
- Contact information for government officials
- Related TSLN articles
- Tips for successfully contacting elected officials
- Twitter Handles of Lawmakers and Notable Ag Influencers
“I think we make a mistake trying to keep up with the packer profit separate from the retailer. They are partners. The producer share of the beef dollar is currently 38.57 percent, down from 70 percent in 1970.” – Mike Callicrate – Colorado cattle producer and meat processor
“If they really investigated I think they could find illegal activity,” he said. “There is probably nothing concrete on paper that shows they’re involved in wrongdoing, but if they can connect the dots, they can find it.” – Jim Dinklage, Nebraska cattle feeder
“’Why does one plant burning bottom out cattle prices? How does one plant within the United States control the whole market place that drastically?’ That’s the question that they should be looking at, and how does it do it so quickly?” former GIPSA administrator, J. Dudley Butler
“If USDA studied our industry and how it works and how the packers can plan their run times, chain speed, and everything because they have at least 80 percent of their kill planned for the next for weeks, that is where the anticompetitive part of the market exists. It’s the formula agreements the packers have on both the buy and sell sides,” Nebraska cattle feeder
Call your representative directly or call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. You can also ask to speak to the aide who handles the issue about which you are calling. If you cannot speak directly with the aide, leave a message with the receptionist stating your views.
Writing a Letter or Email
Personal messages from constituents can be a very effective way of communicating with your legislators. Always be sure to include your name and address to make it clear that you live in the relevant district or state. All letters should start with Dear Senator/Representative, and they can be just a few paragraphs about a single issue.
While you can always use the information you have found through various sources, you should write your letter in your own words. Include specific information about the bill or program about which you’re writing. Details about personal or local impact are very effective. Always be courteous, and be very clear about what action you’d like your legislator to take.
Tips for Contacting your Legislators
Remember, while you are free to contact any member of Congress, you will be most effective by contacting legislators who represent you directly. Elected officials are most interested in your opinions if you are their constituent. Find information for your representatives below.
- Know your facts. Be sure you have the basic information about your topic in front of you when you call. You should be able to specifically describe the topic about which you are calling and state your opinion on what your legislator should do.
- Note your expertise. If you have professional experience on the issue on which you are calling, be sure to mention it. It will help to establish your credibility on the issue and may event prompt the aide to ask you for some guidance on the issue.
- Be brief. Aides receive a high volume of phone calls every day, so keep your call short.
- Be timely. Timeliness is especially important when you are phoning. If the vote on your issue is imminent, the aide is much more likely to pay attention to what you say.
- Consider calling the local office. Calling the office in your district or state, rather than the Washington office, can sometimes be very effective. If you are calling about a vote or other timely issues, always call the Washington office. But, if you are calling generally about an issue that affects your district or community, calling the local office can be a good way to make them aware of an issue.
While phone calls and letters may still carry more weight in the eyes of lawmakers and congressional aides, speaking to your legislators through social media has the advantage of occurring in the public eye. When you comment on your legislator’s Facebook page or send a tweet, other constituents can read your message. This may spark a dialogue. It could also help increase awareness about the issue you’re raising and build support for your cause.
Twitter Profiles of Lawmakers and Notable Ag Influencers:
- President Donald J. Trump: @therealdonaldtrump
- Secretary Sonny Perdue: @secretarysonny
- U.S. Senators for South Dakota, Mike Rounds: @SenatorRounds & John Thune: @SenJohnThune
- U.S. Representative for South Dakota and Agriculture Committee member, Dusty Johnson: @RepDustyJohnson
- U.S. Senators for Montana, Steve Daines: @SteveDaines & Jon Tester: @SenatorTester
- U.S. Senators for North Dakota, John Hoeven: @SenJohnHoeven & Kevin Cramer: @SenKevinCramer
- U.S. Senators for Wyoming, John Barrassso: @SenJohnBarrasso & Mike Enzi: @SenatorEnzi
- U.S. Senators for Nebraska, Deb Fischer: @SenatorFischer & Ben Sasse: @SenSasse
- Senate Ag Republicans: @SenateAgGOP
- Senate Ag Democrats: @SenateAgDems
How to Contact Your Elected Officials
Federal Elected Officials
- Contact President Donald Trump online, or call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 or the comments line at 202-456-1111 during business hours.
- Locate your U.S. senators’ contact information.
- Find your U.S. representative’s website and contact information.
State Elected Officials
- Get in touch with your state governor.
- Find the names and current activities of your state legislators.
Local Elected Officials
- Locate your mayor by name, city, or population size.
- Find your county executive (the head of the executive branch of government in your county) by map search or your ZIP code. The county executive may be an elected or an appointed position.
- Get contact information for your city, county, and town officials.