A member of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors had a message for the nation’s political leaders in Washington, D.C.: political rhetoric has real-world consequences.
Kevin Peterson, who raises hogs and grows corn and soybeans on his farm near Osceola, is flying back to Nebraska from Washington with his family after spending two days attending various functions in and around the Capitol.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors gathered in Washington just after the so-called sequestration took effect, the automatic across-the-board cuts to the federal government.
But it was the political rhetoric leading up to the reality of the cuts that took its toll, according to Peterson.
President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated that meat inspectors would have to be furloughed if the sequestration became law. Markets reacted. Livestock prices plummeted.
Peterson says producers got caught in the political crossfire and lost money, a lot of money.
“We saw market reaction to that in the country,” Peterson tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I have a neighbor who had the misfortune of selling cattle within that timeframe and that market moved that week (and) cost him almost $40,000.”
Peterson says he tried to get across that what might seem like political games in Washington has real-world impacts.
“There were a lot of cattle sold that week. There were sale barns affected, because the market drop happened mid-week and they had guys pull out of their sales and things like that, so there was a negative reaction there. There was a negative reaction to the feed yards trying to source cattle. There were all sorts of ripples when that did happen,” Peterson says.