Capital Update – For the Week Ending December 2, 2022

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U.S. Pork Producers Praise Biden Administration’s Efforts to Avert Rail Disruptions 

Railroad Union Contract Negotiations Recap: In October, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) along with 321 local, state and federal trade associations signed onto a coalition letter urging President Biden and key administration officials to return to the bargaining table to negotiate a new rail deal. Unions and rail carriers have been in a long-running feud over sick leave, pay and a wide-ranging efficiency plan. 

What’s the latest: The House passed a bill on Wednesday and yesterday the Senate did the same to prevent an unfavorable railroad strike. The legislation was signed by President Biden earlier today, which will avert a nationwide rail strike. 

What’s the big picture? A strike would have had severe ramifications on our industry and the economy, exporting soy, moving fertilizer, costing jobs, boosting inflation and more. 

Our take: NPPC applauds the administration for its leadership in addressing the challenges associated with rail shipments and taking actions to avert further supply chain disruptions of agricultural goods. Having stability and predictability in the U.S. supply chain supports American farmers and the U.S. economy by ensuring consumers have access to fresh and affordable pork products. Congress will now focus on funding the government, which provides opportunities for us to lobby our other priorities. 

NPPC Signs Letter of Support to Confirm Doug McKalip and Alexis Taylor

What happened? Close to 60 ag associations, businesses and organizations signed onto a letter to Senate Leaders, Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell, in support of confirming Doug McKalip to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and Alexis Taylor to serve as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at USDA before the end of the year. 

What’s the rush? Time is of the essence as American agriculture, in addition to the health of the economy in general, needs experienced leaders representing us in international negotiations. To continue competing in global markets and supporting workers for agriculture trade policy, quick confirmation of Mr. McKalip and Ms. Taylor is of utmost importance before the end of the year. 

What’s our take: McKalip’s and Taylor’s experiences and deep knowledge of agricultural policy and trade issues will serve our industry well. The U.S. exports more than $8.1 billion of pork products to over 100 countries, supporting more than 100,000 U.S. jobs across the pork production chain. We look forward to working with them and their teams to strengthen and expand markets for American pork producers. 

Read Letter

NPPC Celebrates #GivingTuesday with “Give-a-Ham Challenge”

What happened? Tuesday, Nov. 29 was #GivingTuesday, a global movement encouraging people to do good by giving, collaborating and celebrating generosity.

How is NPPC partaking? In November, we kicked off the fifth annual “Give-a-Ham Challenge”, which is a nationwide campaign encouraging hog farmers and other industry stakeholders to donate a ham or other pork products to their local food bank or other community organization. 

What is the “Give-a-Ham Challenge”? The “Give-a-Ham Challenge” is a social media campaign where pork farmers are encouraged to post a story about themselves, or their family farm’s giving efforts, and then challenge others to do the same. Last year, America’s pork producers and numerous state associations that represent them donated a collective 15.7 million pounds or 222.8 million servings of pork products to local food banks and charitable organizations across the country. 

How can someone join in on the fun? Individuals are encouraged to join this challenge by sharing their stories on social media using the hashtags #GiveAHam and #PoundsofPork and then challenge others to do the same and give back. For more information, please contact NPPC Director of Outreach Marketing, Janine Van Vark, at or NPPC Manager of Marketing and Digital Communications, Mikayla Dolch, at

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.