WASHINGTON – Federal lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would direct resources to livestock producers to help advance their knowledge of how to manage volatility in futures markets. Livestock Risk Management and Education Act would authorize the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to provide grants to some state land-grant universities that would offer risk management education. US Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Frank Lucas (R-Okla.K), introduced the bill.

“Producers already face an uphill battle of unpredictable weather, understanding cattle prices doesn’t need to be an added challenge,” Johnson said. “The Livestock Risk Management and Education Act will supply producers with the tools needed to anticipate highs and lows in the futures markets. I’m proud to partner with my colleagues from cattle country to help best prepare our Ag economy and producers for the future.”

Lawmakers believe the resources and education provided under the Livestock Risk Management and Education Act would improve livestock producers’ knowledge of futures markets to better manage volatility. The bill also would allow land-grant universities, such as South Dakota State Univ., to partner with associations to more directly reach producers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) spoke in support of the legislation.

“This legislation will provide boots-on-the-ground cattle producers with critical resources and opportunities to increase their understanding and engagement with risk management tools,” said Todd Wilkinson, NCBA Policy Division vice chair. “This bill speaks directly to our core values as an industry — arming producers with the latest farm management resources and tools in order to help them navigate ever-changing and dynamic market conditions.

“In a market environment that continues to challenge even the most experienced multi-generational operations, NCBA believes that it is critical for producers to understand their options for managing risk,” Wilkinson continued. “The Livestock Risk Management and Education Act policy will provide the US Secretary of Agriculture the authority and flexibility to collaborate with industry to ensure that cattle farmers and ranchers have access to those options and the knowledge base to determine which ones are right for their operations. As the oldest and largest trade association representing the US cattle industry, securing these kinds of educational resources for our members is critical to our vitality into the future.”