The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing on the state of the livestock and poultry industry on July 16.
Here’s what the subcommittee chairman Jim Costa, D-California, issued this statement after the hearing.
“As the overall economy grows, it’s increasingly clear that its success isn’t shared evenly at all levels, especially in rural, agricultural areas,” Costa said. “I appreciate the seriousness of these issues and their impacts on farmers and ranchers, from animal health and disease threats, pending trade agreements, guest worker needs, and implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, to predator management, consumer-facing issues, and so many others.”
Here’s a quick look at what the witnesses shared.
“One of the most damaging threats to the U.S. pork industry has been the punitive, retaliatory trade tariffs that China and other countries have imposed,” said David Dee Herring, who testified on behalf of the National Pork Producers Council.
“The passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is absolutely critical to the chicken industry not only in protecting the current marketplace, but growing it,” said Holly Porter, executive director, Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., Georgetown, Delaware. “We call on Congress to vote on USMCA as soon as possible.”
Rancher Steve Salmon of San Angelo, Texas, ran through a laundry list of concerns in his testimony on behalf of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association and the American Sheep Industry Association. Among the sheep industry priorities: a workable temporary foreign labor program, funding for the National Scrapie Eradication Program, support for sheep research, predator management and trade.
Kelley Sullivan Georgiades, owner and operator of Santa Rosa Ranch in Crockett, Texas, said passage of the USMCA is the most important thing Congress can do for U.S. ranchers. Sullivan Georgiades testified on behalf of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. She also called for a rejection of mandatory country of origin labeling.
“Biosecurity is all-important,” said David Will, general manager, Chino Valley Ranchers, Colton, California. He testified on behalf of the Egg Farmers of California, Pacific Egg and Poultry Association, and the United Egg Producers.
John Zimmerman, a Northfield, Minnesota, turkey farmer, echoed earlier comments, saying passage of the USMCA is the turkey industry’s No. 1 priority. Zimmerman testified on behalf of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and National Turkey Federation.
Find more information from the hearing here.