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Pork Industry Representatives Discuss Critical Issues During House Hearing

Thursday, May 5, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

Industry representatives this week outlined their views on key pork industry issues, including the livestock and poultry marketing rule proposed by GIPSA, federal ethanol policy, international trade and the use of antibiotics, during a House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry hearing held to explore the state of the beef industry.

Those testifying included Doug Wolf, owner, Wolf L&G Farms, LLC, and president of the National Pork Producers Council; Julie Maschhoff, vice president, The Maschhoffs, Inc., Carlyle, Illinois; and Rod Brenneman, president and CEO, Seaboard Foods, Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Brenneman discussed the importance of trade agreements, saying, “The three pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea, Colombia and Panama represent significant, long-term growth markets for the U.S. meat industry.”

Brenneman noted that passage and implementation of the three FTAs would represent an additional $2.3 billion in meat and poultry exports and the potential creation of 29,524 new jobs, according to a white paper prepared by the American Meat Institute (AMI).

To benefit from this potential, Brenneman told lawmakers that the administration and the Congress must act now to pass and implement these agreements.

“Our competitors are actively working in these markets — if we don’t act fast to set the stage for long term export growth and job creation, other countries will,” Brenneman said.

Regarding the proposed GIPSA rule, Maschhoff told lawmakers, “the proposed rule would be a great threat to our pork production business model in two main areas: 1) we feel the proposed rule would force us to do away with our system of contracting with production partners, thereby taking away an important economic tool for hundreds of family farm pork producers in the Midwest; and 2) we would be hamstrung in our supply contract negotiations with our pork processor partners.”

Wolf raised the issue of federal support for corn ethanol, stating, “U.S. pork producers are concerned about the impact on the industry of the increased use of corn for ethanol production.  The U.S. pork industry strongly believes the country needs a strong renewable energy sector.  However, it cannot come at the expense of the U.S. livestock industry.”

For a full copy of the witnesses’ testimonies, visit http://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/hearingDetails.aspx?NewsID=1373.

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