Sunset behind the United States Capital in Washington D.C.On Friday, Chairman David Scott introduced H.R 8590, the Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act. The first part of the act financially assists small cattle operations by strengthening the risk management safety net. The legislation would offer an increased premium discount for small ranchers (including beginning and veteran ranchers) using the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance policy, as long as they market 100 cattle or less per year. This additional premium assistance will make an essential risk management tool more affordable for small producers. The act also incentivizes insurance agents to better market LRP policies to small producers.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-Ga.) proposed the legislation that also creates the Beef Cattle Spread Coverage Program. Administered by the Farm Service Agency, this program would offer an indemnity payment to cattle producers when the farmer’s share of the retail dollar falls below 51.7%. The program will protect small producers against significant swings in the difference between cattle prices, wholesale beef prices and retail prices.

The second focus of the bill creates opportunities to increase competition and help small ranchers access new marketing opportunities by establishing a Small Rancher Market Access grant program to help aggregate, add value and market meat and meat products to local and regional markets. The legislation also provides resources to USDA to educate farmers on how best to apply for and leverage these new programs.

Read more on the legislation and proposed methods for assisting small cattle producers here.