Pork Producers Advocate for Industry Priorities on Capitol Hill

Over 100 pork producers convened in Washington, DC for NPPC’s spring Legislative Action Conference, engaging in crucial discussions with lawmakers on key issues facing the U.S. pork industry. The conference served as a platform for producers to advocate for legislative changes and receive updates on industry-related developments.

Among the topics discussed were the economic outlook of the pork industry, the USDA’s pilot program for faster processing line speeds at packing plants, the utilization of mRNA vaccine technology in livestock production, and efforts to enhance the industry’s live swine traceability system.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutrition, shared insights on the Senate’s agenda regarding the upcoming farm bill. Additionally, Sandra Eskin, USDA’s deputy under secretary in the Office of Food Safety, provided details on the agency’s pilot program for processing line speeds.

Ahead of the conference, NPPC leadership held a media briefing covering various industry topics, including the farm bill, California Proposition 12, international trade, and labor issues.

Advocacy Priorities

During meetings with lawmakers, pork producers advocated for several priorities:

  1. Seeking a legislative fix to California Proposition 12, which imposes restrictions on pork sales based on housing standards.
  2. Renewal and expansion of key Farm Bill programs benefiting U.S. agriculture, particularly those addressing foreign animal diseases.
  3. Reforms to visa processes for agricultural workers to address labor shortages.
  4. Opposition to pending Packers and Stockyards Act rulemakings that could impact industry competitiveness.
  5. Support for the “Beagle Brigade Act” to bolster agricultural contraband detection efforts.
  6. Urging action on fair market access for U.S. pork in South Africa under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

The engagement of pork producers with policymakers underscores the industry’s commitment to addressing challenges and advancing its interests at the national level.