The Black Sheep of the Industry

As the article notes, ranchers like Mr. Bartmann are held at the mercy of a few select feedlots that will buy his animals for slaughter; “the top four companies control about 65 percent of the market for lamb and as much as 85 percent of the market for cows.” Ranchers are forced into situations akin to the robber baron days of the late 19th century. The buyers control the prices, and the ranchers have to take what they can get. The sheep do, too, which means no matter how kind a rancher they started with, they will be in a concentrated feedlot at the end.

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