Livestock producers covered the full range of issues facing their industries at a House farm bill hearing.
National Pork Producers President Scott Hays on the Supreme Court upholding California’s Prop 12 affecting stall size for sows raised anywhere if their meat is sold in the state. Hays says; “With higher costs and fewer choices, every American will be impacted by this decision. We stand behind the rights of farmers and consumers across this country.”
On a USDA pilot to study faster processing line speeds, Hays says; “We do appreciate the pilot program, we appreciate that they’re continuing the line speeds, as they continue to study it, but we’d appreciate a permanent solution.”
But as for USDA Packers and Stockyard reforms, National Cattlemen’s Todd Wilkinson was less positive; “If finalized, these rules would upend decades of innovation and livestock marketing agreements and open the door to frivolous lawsuits. Put simply, the rules empower trial lawyers to impose regulation by litigation.”
And on the Biden WOTUS rule before the Supreme Court, Wilkinson says; “We can’t be dealing with these constantly changing rules from the EPA—we feel like we’re being attacked.”
While Pork Producers’ Hays feared another kind of attack; “The outbreak of foreign animal disease would devastate not just hog farmers, but also cattle, sheep and feed grain producers, and result in the loss of thousands of jobs to disruptions in domestic production and the loss of export markets.”
Hays and NCBA’s Wilkinson called for farm bill continuation of the so-called “three-legged stool” of a national vaccine bank, preparedness program and animal health lab network.
Other big asks: year-round migrant labor reform, free trade deals, MAP and FMD funding, and permanent reauthorization of Livestock Mandatory Reporting.