At the National Pork Producers Council’s 2020 Pork Industry Forum in early March, delegates adopted several new resolutions. These policy positions will guide NPPC in dealing with key issues, regulations and legislation affecting pork producers now and in the future.
The resolutions include:
Strengthen efforts to prevent African swine fever. ASF is an animal disease affecting only pigs, and has no human health or food safety risks. NPPC will continue working closely with government agencies to prevent ASF and other foreign animal diseases from entering the U.S.
Separate resolutions were adopted directing NPPC to encourage federal regulatory agencies to investigate the risks of imported pet food and pet products containing pork from foreign animal disease-positive countries. The delegates also want NPPC to take a position on feeding hogs from plate waste, and support and advance responsible import policies to safely introduce essential feed ingredients from high-risk countries.
Advocate for accurate and truthful labeling of plant-based cell-cultured products. NPPC is calling for enforcement of fair labeling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and USDA. NPPC supports consumer choice and competitive markets. Plant-based and cell-cultured products designed to mimic real meat must face the same stringent regulatory requirements as livestock agriculture, including truthful labeling standards.
Support reauthorization of and increased export data transparency in LMRA. The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act provides information on marketing of cattle, swine, lambs and products from those animals. Twice daily mandatory price reports published by USDA include information on pricing, contracting for purchase, supply-and-demand conditions for livestock, livestock production and livestock products. LMRA is set to expire Sept. 30.
Delegates also passed a resolution reaffirming plans to increase the contribution rate of NPPC’s strategic investment program, taking it from 10 to 20 cents per $100 of hogs marketed, effective July 1, 2021.
“These resolutions reflect priorities that will help shape the future of the U.S. pork industry,” says outgoing NPPC President David Herring, a North Carolina hog farmer. “NPPC will work with Congress, the administration and others to address these vital issues for U.S. hog farmers.” For more information, visit nppc.org.
Iowa delegates see success
Iowa Pork Producers Association delegates to the 2020 Pork Forum had three policy proposals ratified by NPPC. The IPPA called on NPPC to promote accurate and scienc- based labeling of alternative proteins. Another proposal approved by NPPC delegates calls on the organization to support the reauthorization of mandatory price reporting by USDA.
The measures passed by unanimous votes. IPPA President Mike Paustian, a Scott County hog farmer, was pleased the NPPC delegates approved the Iowa resolutions with little debate. “I was surprised there wasn’t more discussion regarding the reauthorization of mandatory price reporting,” he says. “We had a good discussion about it at our IPPA meeting. I thought there would be similar discussion at the national meeting. But I learned that a lot of those discussions had already taken place.”
The Iowa delegation gained strong support for the proposal to push for “accurate and truthful” labeling on plant-based and cell-cultured proteins. “This resolution received unanimous support from both NPPC and the National Pork Board,” notes Paustian.
Iowan NPPC president-elect
At the forum, NPPC elected new officers and members to its board of directors. Howard Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisc., is the new president. Jen Sorenson of Iowa Falls, Iowa, is president-elect who will succeed Roth in 2021. Terry Wolters of Pipestone, Minn., is the new vice president.
Sorenson is communications director for Iowa Select Farms headquartered at Iowa Falls. For the past nine years, she has worked for Iowa Select, an Iowa farming business that markets more than 5 million hogs per year. Additionally, she manages activities of the Deb & Jeff Hansen Foundation, which operates programs and projects providing food to struggling Iowa families and children, and to members of the Armed Forces. The Hansen Foundation also strengthens efforts to find a cure for childhood cancers, while improving the quality of life for impacted families.
Sorenson grew up on a livestock farm, raising pigs and row crops. After earning degrees in animal science and journalism from Iowa State University, she worked in communications for Christensen Farms, McCormick Company and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. In addition to serving on NPPC's board, Sorenson chairs NPPC's Labor Security Task Force, and is on the board of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. In 2018, she was awarded the Outstanding Young Professional Alumni award from ISU College of Ag & Life Sciences.
"Jen's diverse background in both farming and communications will serve the U.S. pork industry well as she begins her tenure as president-elect," says Neil Dierks, CEO of NPPC. "With her experience, enthusiasm and eagerness, NPPC remains well positioned to advocate for the public policy interests of America's pork producers."