For the Week Ending March 8, 2019
March 8, 2019
NPPC ELECTS NEW OFFICER, BOARD MEMBERS
At its annual business meeting – the National Pork Industry Forum held March 7-8 in Orlando – the National Pork Producers Council today elected new officers and members to its board of directors. Elected as president of the organization was David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. He is vice president of Hog Slat, which supplies equipment to pork operations, and of TDM Farms. TDM Farms is a sow farrow-to-finish operation, with farms in North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. Herring is a past president of the North Carolina Pork Council. Howard AV Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wis., was elevated to president-elect. A fifth-generation farmer, he owns and operates Roth Feeder Pigs. Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms, was elected by the NPPC board of directors to be vice president. Lori Stevermer of Easton, Minn., and Russell Vering of Howells, Nebraska, were elected as new members of the board for three-year terms. Mark Cooper of Des Moines, Iowa, was elected to a three-year term and will serve as the board’s Packer and Processor Industry Council representative. They join current directors Craig Andersen, of Centerville, S.D., Phil Borgic, of Nokomis, Ill., Scott Hays, of Monroe City, Mo., Dale Reicks of New Hampton, Iowa, Dr. Gordon Spronk, of Pipestone, Minn., Duane Stateler of McComb, Ohio, Kraig Westerbeek, of Warsaw, N.C. and Terry Wolters of Pipestone, Minn. Elected for two-year terms to NPPC’s Nominating Committee were Jay Moore of Jackson, Minn., and Neill Westerbeek of Clinton, N.C.
NPPC DELEGATES APPROVE RESOLUTIONS DURING ANNUAL MEETING
At the annual business meeting of the National Pork Producers Council, delegates adopted several important resolutions, including those that call on NPPC to: strengthen pork industry efforts to prevent foreign animal diseases (FADs) from entering the United States; work for a change to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service (HOS) rules so they are more compatible with animal welfare priorities; urge the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security to expand visas to allow foreign workers to stay in the United State longer so farm operations have a more reliable work force; monitor USDA and FDA to ensure the agencies are transparent throughout the development, production and harvest of laboratory-produced cultured protein (L-PCP); and identify existing and emerging pork industry issues and the funding needs to address them with recommendations, including budget requirements, to be provided to state associations prior to the 2020 Pork Forum.
LONG-TIME LEADERS, RISING STARS HONORED AT PORK FORUM
Tom Miller, an Arizona pork producer, executive director of the Arizona Pork Council and past president of the National Pork Producers Council, was inducted into the NPPC Hall of Fame for his lifetime commitment to advocacy, leadership and advancement on behalf of pork producers at NPPC’s annual business meeting: the National Pork Industry Forum. In his role as an NPPC board member and officer, Miller was directly engaged in advocacy on using nitrites; overhauling Farm Credit; instituting two pork marketing campaigns, including Pork. The Other White Meat; and establishing the legislative Pork Checkoff. Former Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA) Executive Vice President Sam Hines was the recipient of the Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award, presented by NPPC and the National Pork Board. The award, named after past Minnesota and past Wisconsin executive directors Don Paulson and Rex Whitmore, recognizes the outstanding leadership and commitment of state pork organization executives. Hines, who served as MPPA executive director for more than 30 years. NPPC also awarded scholarships to 10 college students who intend to pursue careers in the pork industry. The Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship program is sponsored by CME Group and the National Pork Industry Foundation. The 2019 scholarship winners: John Altendorf, Drake University; Jenna Chance, Kansas State University; Holly Cook, Iowa State University; Hunter Everett, North Carolina State University; Sarah Heiller, Iowa State University; Kathryn Helmink, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Mariah Huge, Purdue University; William Mengler, Iowa State University; Sierra Williamson, University of Minnesota; and Blake Wolters, South Dakota State University. The scholarship program was introduced in 1990 by CME Group and NPPC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CME hog futures.
NPPC FILES BRIEF IN N.C. NUISANCE LAWSUIT
NPPC, the American Farm Bureau, North Carolina Farm Bureau and North Carolina Pork Producers Council this week weighed in on an appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to overturn the $50 million verdict awarded in the first of three trials earlier this year against the North Carolina hog industry. These runaway punitive damages awards against producers engaged in common and highly regulated farm activities threaten rural economies. Amongst other issues raised, the appeal noted that The North Carolina Right to Farm Act, which recognizes that normal farming practices do not constitute a nuisance, prohibits these types of lawsuits. The brief also cautioned that the damage from the ruling would likely lead to unwarranted and costly litigation against farms across the United States if the verdict was allowed to stand. A copy of the brief is available here.
NPPC ASKS FOR HOURS OF SERVICE DRIVING TIME EXTENSION
In comments filed this week in support of a waiver petition filed by the American Farm Bureau, Livestock Marketing Association And National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, amongst others, NPPC asked the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to extend the number of hours a livestock hauler can drive before being required to take a mandatory 10 hour rest break. The current inflexible rules are incompatible with the realities of transporting livestock and pose a threat to animal welfare. To read NPPC’s comments, click here.
USDA, FDA TO JOINTLY REGULATE CELL CULTURED FOOD PRODUCTS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced a formal agreement to jointly oversee the production of laboratory-produced cultured protein. Consistent with NPPC’s position and advocacy efforts, the agreement calls on the USDA to have jurisdiction over labelling and inspection of these products, ensuring a level regulatory playing field.
SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE TO HEAR FROM CFTC NOMINEE TARBERT
The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on Mar. 13 will hold a hearing to hearing to consider the nomination of Heath Tarbert for Commodity Futures Trading Committee chairman. The hearing, beginning at 10 AM, will be held in the Russell Senate building, room 328A. In support of this nomination, NPPC this week signed onto a letter expressing such support as Tarbert would bring significant experience to this position, most recently working for the U.S. Treasury Department on international markets and investment policy.