Farm bill spotlights pork producer priorities at World Pork Expo

At the 2024 World Pork Expo, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) hosted a vital policy panel discussion, bringing together producer-leaders and experts to emphasize the necessity of bipartisan advocacy in supporting America’s pork producers.

Tackling Key Challenges for Pork Producers

The panel outlined critical priorities such as preparing for and preventing foreign animal diseases (FADs), navigating the complexities of California Proposition 12, increasing market access programs for U.S. pork, and protecting herd health. These issues have been central to NPPC’s advocacy efforts within the 2024 farm bill.

“Having a proactive, producer-focused advocacy plan has enabled NPPC to elevate our common interests to impact inclusions in the 2024 House Farm Bill,” stated NPPC President Lori Stevermer, a pork producer from Easton, Minnesota. “We appreciate our legislators addressing the issues facing the agriculture industry because they hold real-world implications for farms across the country.”

Protecting Against Foreign Animal Diseases

Dr. Anna Forseth, NPPC director of animal health, highlighted the importance of preserving FAD risk and prevention programs. She emphasized the significance of programs like the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network in safeguarding the industry.

“Pork producers continue to face threats from foreign animal diseases like African swine fever,” Forseth said. “Farm bill funding can address these risks and help mitigate an outbreak that could lead to billions of dollars in losses, food shortages, and immediate closure of export markets.”

Addressing the Impact of Proposition 12

Chase Adams, NPPC assistant vice president of domestic policy, discussed the complications created by California Proposition 12. He warned that it could lead to a patchwork of conflicting standards on food production across states. “NPPC urges Congress to adopt a legislative solution in the farm bill to mitigate further impacts to both farmers and consumers,” he said, noting that the legislation has already led to significant price increases for fresh pork in California.

Expanding Market Access for U.S. Pork

Maria C. Zieba, NPPC vice president of government affairs, stressed the need for additional resources for feral swine eradication and funding for the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP). “Exports create significant opportunities for the U.S. pork industry,” Zieba said. “NPPC values the role international marketing plays in developing markets for U.S. pork.”

Ensuring Stability for Pork Producers

As the pork industry recovers from historic economic losses, producers need stability in their operations. NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys reiterated the importance of ongoing policy efforts. “NPPC continues to work on a range of policy issues that protect herd health and safeguard producers’ farming businesses,” Humphreys said. “We encourage Congress to finalize a bipartisan farm bill this year that reflects the needs of pork producers.”