A consolidated market leaves ranchers wondering what’s next

While consumers pay high beef prices at the grocery store, very little has trickled down to ranchers — in fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the gap between the retail price for beef and the price producers receive is the largest it's ever been. In interviews, eight ranchers in seven states agreed their profits have stagnated or even decreased, while the meatpacking companies — which buy the animals for slaughter, then package the meat to be sold at grocery stores — have benefited.

USDA fails to monitor foreign owners of farmland

Since 2011, the USDA has only assessed 10 fines under AFIDA, worth $115,724, according to records obtained by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting through the Freedom of Information Act.  And no fines were assessed in 2015, 2016 or so far in 2017.