Capital Update – For the Week Ending March 10, 2023

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In this week’s National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Friday recap: National Pork Industry Forum Recap, Secretary Vilsack address to pork farmers, Beagle Brigade Act reintroduction, and USDA’s line speed trial extension. Take a deeper dive below.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Speaks at National Pork Industry Forum


What happened: On Thursday, March 9, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed pork producers, allied industry members and partners, state pork organizations, delegates and more at the 2023 National Pork Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida. Secretary Vilsack shed light on the importance of creating new revenue streams for producers and their communities, acknowledging pig farmers’ significant role in helping feed America, and protecting our borders from African swine fever (ASF).

Why it matters: These concerns remain top priorities for NPPC in 2023. The Council will continue working with Secretary Vilsack and other agriculture leaders toward these shared goals so U.S. pork can prosper.

NPPC Elects New Officers, Board Members to Lead Advocacy Efforts


What happened: Today, NPPC installed new officers and elected members to its board of directors at its annual business meeting – the National Pork Industry Forum.
The 2023-2024 Board of Directors for NPPC are as follows:

•    Scott Hays, NPPC President, MO
•    Lori Stevermer, NPPC President-Elect, MN
•    Duane Stateler, NPPC Vice President, OH
•    Terry Wolters, Immediate Past President (served 2022-2023), MN
•    Steve Malakowsky, Allied Industry Director, MN
•    Jason Brester, PPIC Director, IA
•    Craig Andersen, SD
•    Rob Brenneman, IA
•    Pat Hord, OH
•    Bob Ivey, NC
•    Dwight Mogler, IA
•    Dr. Jeremy Pittman, VA
•    Jeb Stevens, IN
•    Russ Vering, NE
•    Francis Forst, MO
•    Todd Marotz, MN

Why it matters: The NPPC Board of Directors is a critical part of NPPC’s success. “All of the easy problems have been solved, and it is the outstanding leaders on our board that guide this industry through the mountain of challenges we face,” said NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys.

To learn more, read the press release.

2023 NPPC Board of Directors

Front row: Lori Stevermer, Jeb Stevens, Dr. Jeremy Pittman, Jason Brester, Bob Ivey, Todd Marotz, Dwight Mogler. Back row: Terry Wolters, Scott Hays, Craig Andersen, Duane Stateler, Steve Malakowsky, Rob Brenneman, Francis Forst

Hog Slat’s Billy Herring Inducted into National Pork Industry Hall of Fame


What happened: William “Billy” Herring was inducted into the National Pork Industry Hall of Fame on March 9.

Herring has contributed to the U.S. pork industry for over 50 years as the owner and founder of Hog Slat, which serves pig and poultry farmers’ equipment and is the largest contractor and manufacturer of hog equipment in the United States.

“Billy’s contribution to the U.S. pork industry is second to none. He’s influenced how pigs are raised not just in the U.S. but worldwide,” said outgoing NPPC President Terry Wolters. “Billy has made countless lasting contributions to the U.S. pork industry and has led with values that he has instilled in the next generation of pork producers.

NPPC congratulates Billy for his induction to the Hall of Fame because the pork industry wouldn’t be where it is today without his contributions.”

Learn more about this year’s National Pork Industry Hall of Fame inductee here.

William Billy Herring inducted into National Pork Industry Hall of Fame

Pictured: William “Billy” Herring and Terry Wolters


Iowa’s Mike Telford Honored with the 2023 Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award


What happened: The Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award is given annually to an individual who exhibited outstanding leadership and commitment as a state pork organization executive. The 2023 Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award recipient is former Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Executive Director Mike Telford.

Under Telford’s leadership, he played a key role in the establishment of the mandatory checkoff, a legislative achievement he shared with a dedicated group of producers who did the research and united the industry across the state. He saw issues from a unique perspective, with the ability to anticipate the needs and challenges facing the pork industry.

Learn more about Telford’s leadership, vision and long-standing commitment to the pork industry here.

Mike Telford honored with Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award

Pictured: Terry Wolters, Mike Telford and Heather Hill


NPPC Announces Annual Scholarship Winners at National Pork Industry Forum


What happened: NPPC announced 12 scholarship winners at the National Pork Industry Forum. The Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship and the Neil Dierks Scholarship were awarded to college students pursuing careers in the U.S. pork industry.The 2023 winners of the $2,500 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship are:

•    Kirby Cook, Iowa State University
•    James DeRouchey, Kansas State University
•    Joseph Halbur, South Dakota State University
•    Molly Jones, North Carolina State University
•    Leah Marek, Iowa State University
•    Kyra Schenk, South Dakota State University
•    Keegan Sheiss, Purdue University
•    Karmen Sperr, South Dakota State University
•    Elizabeth Staggs, Purdue University
•    Elizabeth Thome, University of Minnesota

2023 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship winners

The 2023 winners of the $5,000 Neil Dierks Scholarship are:

•    Grace Christensen, IA
•    Caitlyn Wileman, WI

2023 Niel Dierks Scholarship winners

Join us in congratulating these 12 outstanding students on being the winners of the 2023 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship and Neil Dierks Scholarship!

Learn more about this year’s winners here.

NPPC Urges Quick Passage of the Beagle Brigade Act of 2023


What happened: On Thursday, March 9, the Beagle Brigade Act was reintroduced in the House, H.R. 1480, and the Senate, S. 759.   The Beagle Brigade Act provides congressional authority for the National Detector Dog Training Center to continue training beagles for use at ports of entry.

Why it matters:  Customs and Border Patrol utilize the “beagle brigade” to identify and prevent the introduction of foreign animal diseases, including ASF, into the United States. Providing congressional authority to the National Detector Dog Training Center will strengthen and secure this critical program as the United States endeavors to keep out ASF.

NPPC’s take: NPPC has been leading over 50 organizations in supporting the legislation’s reintroduction by Representatives Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Drew Ferguson (R-GA) and Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA). NPPC is urging Congress to pass the Beagle Brigade Act to strengthen the United States ports of entry against ASF and other foreign animal and plant diseases.

Learn more here.

NPPC Applauds USDA’s Decision to Extend Line Speed Trial


What happened: On Friday, March 3, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) extended time-limited trials for eligible pork harvest facilities. This extension allows New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS) establishments to continue operating at an increased line speed until November 30. The increased line speed has proven able to protect both food and worker safety.

Background: In March 2021, a court order issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota vacated the part of the USDA final rule eliminating line speed limits for NSIS establishments. As a result, and in consultation with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, FSIS developed a time-limited trial enabling NSIS establishments to experiment with ergonomics, automation and crewing to create custom work environments that would protect food and worker safety while also maintaining productivity. In November 2021, NSIS establishments were invited to apply to participate in a trial, and six establishments were approved. During the trials, the selectees were allowed to operate at an increased line speed for a period of one year.

Why is this important: Ensuring sufficient harvest capacity is critical to allowing America’s pork producers to continue to provide wholesome pork products to consumers. The extension will allow USDA to assess a final report of the data collected during the time-limited trial and determine the next steps.

NPPC’s take: NPPC appreciates the extension of the trial period and will continue working with the administration and Congress toward a permanent solution. To read NPPC’s full statement, please visit our website.