16 Apr '11, 5pm

Ranchers Struggle Against Giant Meatpackers and Economic Troubles

A sea of cream-colored cowboy hats, the kind ranchers wear on their days off, fills a sterile conference room at the Fort Collins Marriott. Banners from groups like the Ranchers-Cattlemen Legal Action Fund and the Western Organization of Resource Councils add bright slashes of color, and warn that JBS, the world's largest meatpacker, now controls 24 percent of all cattle produced in the United States. It's August 2010, the night before a national workshop on competition in the livestock industry, and well over 500 ranchers, feedlot owners, and their allies are packed into this room to talk about change. Word spreads that I want to hear their stories. We all know they're harassed by many demons: Land, feed, and fuel costs have all soared. Newly health-conscious consumers disdain red meat; environmentalists regularly sue over grazing practices. Retail giants like Walmart gra...

Full article: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_23018.cfm