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USDA to Buy $50 Million in PorkUSDA to Buy $50 Million in Pork

Funds will help state's pork producers deal with deflated prices stemming.

November 16, 2009

2 Min Read

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a member of Senate Agriculture Committee, said that USDA will acquire $50 million in pork products from America's pork producers to aid the struggling industry.

The pork products will be donated to school lunch programs and other federal nutrition programs.

Since the discovery of the H1N1 virus, domestic hog farmers have suffered from decreased international demand, despite no known link between eating pork products and virus. Minnesota farmers have had to deal with unfair trade practices, as other countries have used the H1N1 virus as an excuse to bar American pork products, thereby boosting their domestic pork industries.

"Alarmingly low pork prices are putting a strain on an industry that is vital to our state's economy," Klobuchar said. "The pork industry is facing obstacles outside their control, which are driving down prices. I appreciate Secretary Vilsack's responsiveness and will continue to work to help Minnesota's pork producers in this difficult time."

Minnesota is the nation's third largest pork producer, with 2,500 farms and more than 20,000 jobs in hog production and pork processing. The pork purchase will help farmers greatly reduce their sow herd in a market where production costs continue to exceed market value.

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