Capital Update – For the Week Ending November 18, 2022

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NPPC staff in attendance from left to right: Michael Formica, Maria Zieba, Terry Wolters, Mikayla Dolch, Andrew Bailey, Bryan Humphreys, Annemarie Pender, Holly Cook, and Josh Scramlin.

NPPC Participates in NAFB Trade Talk

What happened? This week the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) took part in the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) annual ‘Trade Talk’ in Kansas City, Missouri. ‘Trade Talk’ is the centerpiece event during the NAFB Convention that connects agriculture broadcasters, industry leaders and students to discuss key issues and topics impacting U.S. farmers and producers.

Why is this important? Radio is still a popular medium for American farmers to find out what is happening locally and nationally. With over a hundred associations, companies and organizations, ‘Trade Talk’ is an opportunity for everyone to gather, network and get their message out through on-air audio programming for listeners across urban and rural America.

Our take: NPPC used ‘Trade Talk’ as another medium to educate farmers across the country on how the organization is fighting for reasonable public policies that will ensure the U.S. pork industry can continue to provide consumers with safe and nutritious pork products.

NPPC’s issue experts collectively conducted over 40 interviews on its policy priorities, including California Proposition 12, the 2023 Farm Bill, expanding international trade, and the value-add the U.S. pork industry brings to the American economy.  

Go deeper: To learn more about NPPC’s current policy priorities, visit NPPC’s website.

Senate Agriculture Holds Hearing on 2023 Farm Bill

What happened: The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee held its first in a series of hearings to review the current Farm Bill. While there have been listening sessions in Michigan and Arkansas, this was the current Congress’s first hearing in Washington, DC. This hearing focused on reviewing the Farm Bill’s efforts addressing rural development and energy. 

Why does it matter? The Farm Bill legislative package is updated every five years, and the last bill was approved in 2018. With the current law set to expire on Sept. 30, 2023, lawmakers are preparing to draft new measures affecting agriculture, rural, and nutrition programs. For NPPC, the 2023 Farm will be an opportunity to renew and expand key Farm Bill programs that protect the pork industry. 

NPPC’s take: The Farm Bill serves as key legislation for important programs that protect pigs from foreign animal diseases, including the foot and mouth disease vaccine bank, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program. 

There is also currently no program in place to protect livestock producers from a low-probability catastrophic event that could cut off export access, cause an extreme shortage of feed inputs, dramatically restrict packing capacity, or otherwise lead to devastating producer losses. NPPC supports a USDA-subsidized basic insurance program at $1/pig to protect farmers from low-probability, catastrophic events. 

NPPC looks forward to working with all stakeholders on securing a strong Farm Bill that will support livestock agriculture. 

Learn more here.

Producers Encouraged to Take USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation Program 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a nationwide Farm Production and Conservation Program survey to assist USDA in enhancing and improving services, making agricultural government programs more accessible and advancing equity for new and existing customers.

Why does this matter? The Farm Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Risk Management Agencies help farmers leverage natural resources and offer access to crop insurance, conservation, farm safety net, lending, and disaster programs to help mitigate the risks of farming.

According to Robert Bonnie, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC), “A robust survey response that includes the perspectives of all of our customers, including underserved producers, will help USDA better understand the unique needs of both existing and prospective customers, while identifying opportunities to enhance government programs and services. This survey will provide USDA with critical data to help USDA serve all of agriculture.”

When? All farmers, producers, ranchers and forest managers are encouraged to participate in providing their perspectives by March 31, 2023.

Educational Opportunities:

Neil Dierks Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Neil Dierks Scholarship, which is sponsored by the NPIF and is managed and administered by NPPC. One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student seeking a graduate degree in a field related to the pork industry at a land grant university. Submissions are due by Dec. 31, 2022.

Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship, which is sponsored by CME Group and National Pork Industry Foundation (NPIF) and managed and administered by NPPC. Ten $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students who plan to pursue a career in the pork industry and exhibit characteristics representative of future pork industry leaders. All entries must be submitted by Jan. 3, 2023 to be considered.