Producers Convey Pork Industry Priorities During NPPC Fly-in
held its fall Legislative Action Conference Wednesday and Thursday, with
nearly 100 pork producers in Washington, D.C., meeting with their
members of Congress to discuss pork industry priorities. Over the two-day
event, producers asked lawmakers to:
- Press the Biden administration to
join the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific
Partnership and to negotiate an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework trade
deal that addresses market access for and non-tariff barriers to U.S.
- Expand the H-2A visa program
to year-round agricultural workers, including packing plant employees.
Currently, the visa only allows for temporary, seasonal farm laborers.
- Pass the “Beagle Brigade Act,”
authorizing a training center for dogs that can detect animal and plant
diseases and pests at the country’s points of entry. Only the Senate
must approve the measure; the House passed the bill earlier this year.
Producers also asked that the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection
agricultural inspection program be fully funded.
- Fund in next farm bill the
National Annual Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank, the
National Animal Health Laboratory Network, the National Animal Disease
Preparedness and Response Program, and the National Veterinary
Stockpile. Producers also asked for an increase in funds to help reduce
the population of feral swine, which can carry foreign animal diseases.
- Reauthorize and fund — also
through the farm bill — the Market Access and the Foreign Market
Development programs to promote U.S. agricultural exports and authorize
a USDA catastrophic risk insurance program to help mitigate risks for
highlight of the biennial fly-in was Wednesday’s Capitol Hill-famous
BaconFest reception, with dozens of congressional lawmakers and hundreds of
staffers in attendance. Because of COVID, it was the first BaconFest since
the fall 2019 legislative conference.
the conclusion of the conference, NPPC President Terry Wolters,
President-elect Scott Hays, Vice President Lori Stevermer, and CEO Bryan
Humphreys, joined by NPPC policy staff, met with reporters to discuss the
NPPC-American Farm Bureau Federation challenge of California
Proposition 12, which bans in the state the sale of pork that doesn’t
meet California’s sow housing standards. Oral arguments in the case will be
presented to the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 11.
U.S. Freight Rail Workers Get New Contract, Avoid Strike
representing 115,000 freight rail workers on Thursday reached a
tentative deal on a new labor contract with the country’s freight railroads,
avoiding a threatened nationwide strike that would have exacerbated current
U.S. supply chain problems for a host of products, including agricultural
The Agriculture Trade Coalition, of which NPPC is a member, pointed out that
a labor disruption would mostly hurt perishable goods.
The new agreement covers from 2020 through 2024 and includes recommendations
from a White House-appointed board – the Presidential Emergency Board – for a
wage increase of 24%, a limit on health care premiums for workers, and an
annual bonus for employees. Union members still must vote to ratify the
Demand for the services of freight railroads has increased recently as the
economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, but carriers have been
hard-pressed to meet it in part because of a shortage of railroad workers.
The agriculture and energy sectors, in particular, have pointed out that
freight transportation disruptions have caused the prices of their products
NPPC Participates in International Animal Biotech Workshop
pork producer Dr. Mike Paustian and Andrew Bailey, NPPC’s science and
technology legal counsel, attended the 4th International Workshop on
Regulatory Approaches for Agricultural Applications of Animal Biotechnologies
held this week in São Paulo, Brazil.
Paustian and Bailey participated in panels that discussed animal breeding,
the future of animal genetic biotechnologies, and building trust in animal
Organized by USDA, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on
Agriculture, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech
Applications and its AfriCenter, Virginia Tech University, the Agriculture
and Food Systems Institute, and the Universidade de São Paulo, the
workshops look at regulatory frameworks for the food and environmental safety
assessment of products from animals produced using animal biotechnologies.
is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the
livelihoods of America’s 66,000 pork producers, who abide by
ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the
environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome,
nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more
information, visit www.nppc.org.