Illinois Pork Producers Advocate for the Industry in Washington D.C.
Five representatives from the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) traveled to Washington D.C. for two days as part of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) biannual legislative fly-in.
While there, Mike Haag (IPPA President Elect), Bob Frase (Current Past President), Curt Zehr (At-Large Director), Phil Borgic (NPPC board member), and Ken Maschhoff (NPPC President) conducted 20 meetings, one with each member of the Illinois Congressional delegation.
Four key issues were discussed during those meetings: the initiation of bilateral free trade agreement negotiations with Japan, the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the withdrawal of the interim final Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule and robust funding for a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Vaccine Bank in the 2018 Farm Bill.
The United States over the past 10 years, on average, has been the No. 1 exporter of pork in the world. In 2016, exports contributed significantly to the bottom line of all U.S. pork producers adding more than $50 to the value of each hog marketed. Additionally, $5.9 billion of U.S. pork was exported to more than 100 counties.
FMD presents a critical risk to the U.S. livestock industry, crippling the entire agricultural sector and having long-lasting ramifications on its economic viability if an outbreak occurred. The
FMD vaccine bank will give the livestock industry the ability to rapidly vaccinate livestock against FMD.
“With the Trump administration taking the helm in January and several new Illinois congressional members taking office, IPPA felt it was critical to have a strong presence in DC, said Mike Haag, IPPA President Elect. “This legislative action conference gives pork producers an opportunity to communicate our position on key issues and to educate our congressional members on the economic importance of livestock to the U.S. and Illinois.”
In Illinois, the pork industry contributes over $1.8 billion to the state’s economy, generates more than $170 million in taxes and provides more than 10,500 jobs.