Northern Plains ranchers elevate broken cattle market system in The New York Times

Northern Plains ranching members made a big splash on the front page of The New York Times on December 27. Steve Charter, Annika Charter, Ressa Charter, Jeanie Alderson, Terry Punt, and Gilles Stockton all spent time with Times reporters (including a photographer and podcast producer), who spent a week in Montana reporting about the crisis in family ranching due to corruption and illegal market manipulations by the “Big Four” meatpackers. The stories, insights, and expertise our members shared resulted in a major story in the nation’s newspaper of record, and the results were immediate. Politicians issued press statements in support of reform. The Biden Administration publicly announced a $1 billion fund to help fund smaller meat processing plants only days later. Northern Plains members are speaking up at a time when meaningful cattle market reform actually has a chance. Shepherd rancher Steve Charter closed the article with a simple vision for what we hope to create: “We need a food system that serves everyone, and not just a handful of companies.” 

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