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Biden $1 billion plan to help farmers and ranchers in Texas

Posted at 8:58 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 23:19:01-05

WACO, Texas — Consumers have seen meat prices go up at the grocery stores, but farmers and ranchers say they've yet to make more money. In fact, production prices are costing them too.

Tracy Tomascik raises beef cattle in Central Texas and he told 25 News these last few years have been difficult for people in his industry.

"I can speak for everybody in the livestock industry across the state," Tomascik said. "Things have been challenging for the most part when it comes to producing the livestock, the commodity that we sell and these families make a living off of."

The Biden Administration has stepped in to help now with an announcement Monday morning.

"The main issue is there's a lack of options for farmers and ranchers to sell their products," Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, Baharat Ramamurti, said. "The meatpacking industry is highly concentrated. There are only a few different options and in some regions of the country, there may be only one option for farmers and ranchers to sell their products. That means they have to take whatever price they are offered."

The president announced a $1 billion plan to build more meat processing plants across the U.S.

Local farmers tell 25 news they're happy to hear about the changes, but we won't see the effects overnight.

"To the consumer, it's going to be a delayed impact because it takes years to go through the regulatory obstacles to create these facilities and then on top of that you have to have the labor," Tomascik said.

Labor shortages are another challenge to the meat industry, but the Biden Administration has plans to tackle that.

"Part of the funding is actually $100 million specifically for increasing the pipeline of workers going into this field," Ramamurti said. "There's funding for partnerships with labor unions, partnerships with community colleges."

They hope the outcome of this investment will lead to lower prices for buyers.