WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) joined Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) Thursday in reintroducing bipartisan legislation to increase competition in the meatpacking industry.

“Livestock and poultry producers across Virginia bring in millions of dollars for our local economy. But market consolidation continues to pressure these vital industries. As the only Virginian on the House Agriculture Committee, I understand the need to make long-term investments in our domestic food supply,” said Spanberger.

The “Butcher Block Actwould help reallocate the U.S. cattle market by establishing a permanent grant and loan program at the USDA for new and expanding meat processors to drive competition within the packing industry.

“By allocating new USDA assistance for local processors to expand their operations, our bipartisan legislation would prop up the U.S. meat industry, increase market opportunity for American producers, and lower costs at the grocery store for Virginia families. I’m proud to once again lead the introduction of this legislation with Congressman Johnson, and I look forward to continuing to build bipartisan support behind keeping American cattlemen and poultry producers competitive in the global ag economy,” she added.

“Cattle country needs solutions. The past few years have taken a toll on the livestock owners who have experienced black swan event after black swan event. The “Butcher Block Act” will provide increased capacity to small packers and drive healthy competition to create a more stable market,” said Johnson.

The “Butcher Block Act” would:

  • Assist new and expanded livestock or meat processors to improve marketing options for livestock producers, further competitive markets, and facilitate better opportunities for livestock producers.
  • Establish a rural development grant program at USDA for eligible organizations to assist with new construction or expansion planning and compliance.

Spanberger and Johnson first introduced the bill in June 2021. Click here to read the full bill text.