After watching a shift in how hogs were owned and brought to market, and the change it brought to rural communities, Eric Nelson said he didn’t want to see these changes trickle into the cattle industry.

Today, there are not as many pigs walking through the sale barns as there once were causing some auctions to close their doors.

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So, on March 7th, 2023, Nelson and other livestock producers across Iowa joined together to form the Iowa Stock Growers Association.  The Iowa Stock Growers is an independent group that will set its own policy priorities, separate from any national organization. However, the group will be affiliated with R-CALF-USA and will rely on the group for data, information, and more.

Nelson says that the group's priorities include Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling as well as a policy to require packers to buy more cattle on the cash market.

Cows in the Pasture

In a Tri-State Livestock News article, Nelson adds, “we want to work hard on forcing packers to pay for cattle on the cash market – there aren’t enough hogs traded on a weekly basis to know what the real value of hogs is. I think we are already facing that with cattle and it’s why we are losing money even though demand is great,”

In a statement, he adds there is a need in Iowa for a new livestock producer organization.

As livestock production in Iowa has become integrated and controlled by a hand full of companies, most recently Iowa’s hog industry, non-integrated livestock producers are often left unrepresented in the political debate over a policy that affects them.

Nelson adds that the sheep industry can also look towards the Iowa Stock Growers Association for representation.

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