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US pork producers lobby lawmakers on key issues

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) brought forward several pressing issues at the virtually-held Legislative Action Conference.
calendar icon 3 December 2021
clock icon 1 minute read

Pork producers lobbied for key issues, including preventing foreign animal diseases, addressing a shortage of agricultural workers and reauthorizing a livestock price reporting law.

“These are critical but by no means the only issues of concern to US pork producers,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa.

“Failure to address even one of these matters could make it very difficult for hog farmers to continue producing safe, nutritious pork for consumers around the globe," she added.

Producers will ask their members of Congress to support funding for efforts to prepare for and prevent foreign animal diseases, particularly African swine fever (ASF), which recently was detected in the Western Hemisphere for the first time in more than 40 years.

According to a press release from the producers' organisation, NPPC has requested appropriations for more US Customs and Border Protection agricultural inspectors. They've also asked for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, which provides disease surveillance and diagnostic support in cases of large-scale animal disease outbreaks, and for additional staff for USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Services

With regards to the ongoing labour shortage, the producers' group urged lawmakers to reform the H-2A visa program. Doing so would also temporary, seasonal farm labourers into the country year-round and remove the cap on number of annual visas supplied.

With regards to the price reporting law, producers said they need Congress to quickly approve a multi-year reauthorization of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act (LMRA) or, at least, pass an extension of it.

The law requires meatpackers to report to USDA the prices they pay for cattle, hogs and lambs and other information. USDA publishes twice-daily reports with pricing information, contracting for purchase, supply and demand conditions for livestock, livestock production and livestock product values.

More than 100 producers from across the country were expected to participate in the virtual conference.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.