Funding a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank and protecting interstate commerce by prohibiting states from regulating agricultural practices outside of their borders are top farm bill priorities of the National Pork Producers Council.
In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, the NPPC urged the Farm Bill Conference Committee to establish and fund an FMD vaccine bank at $150 million annually.
An Iowa State study found that an FMD outbreak would cost the beef, pork, corn and soybean industries nearly $200 billion over 10 years. The House bill provides $150 million in mandatory funding the first year of the farm bill and $20 million for the remaining four years to be used at USDA’s discretion for the vaccine bank, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and state block grants. The Senate bill establishes the vaccine bank but does not provide mandatory funding.
NPPC supports the “Protecting Interstate Commerce Act” contained in the House passed farm bill. This provision would prohibit states from regulating agricultural practices outside their borders. California currently has a ballot initiative that would ban the sale of pork from hogs born to out-of-state sows housed in gestation pens.
The NPPC also supports the International Market Development Program included in both bills that reauthorizes and funds the Foreign Market Development Program and the Market Access Program. These programs have helped support export markets for U.S. pork.
Farm bill conference to meet
The first official meeting of the House-Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee will be Sept. 5.
In a joint statement, leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Congressmen Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (MN) say, “We are pleased to announce a meeting of the full Farm Bill Conference Committee. We are committed to working together on a farm bill that delivers certainty and predictability to our farmers and families as quickly as possible.”
There are 56 members of the conference committee including nine Senators and 47 Congressmen.
WOTUS reinstated in 26 states
A U.S. District Judge in South Carolina reinstated the Waters of the U.S. rule for 26 states. Judge David Norton ruled the Trump administration had failed to comply with rulemaking requirements in its effort to end WOTUS. Norton says the administration did not provide “reasoned analysis” for suspending the rule and no “meaningful opportunity” for public comment.
The ruling effects 26 states because two other federal cases, North Dakota covering 13 states and Georgia covering 11 states, blocked implementation in those states.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says, “The South Carolina court has effectively brought WOTUS back from the dead in 26 states, creating a zombie version of the 2015 rule that threatens the rights of farmers and ranchers across the country.” The American Farm Bureau Federation says, “Today’s court ruling creates enormous regulatory uncertainty and risk for farmers, ranchers and others in the 26 states that are not already protected from the unlawful 2015 rule by previous court decisions.”
The court case challenging the WOTUS rule was brought forth by the Southern Environmental Law Center representing 10 conservation organizations.
A coalition of agriculture and business are appealing the ruling.
Potts named new NAMI CEO
Julie Anna Potts has been named the new president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute effective Sept. 24.
Currently, Potts serves as executive vice president and treasurer for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Previously she served as AFBF’s general counsel and in 2009 was named chief counsel of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Potts received her law degree from George Washington University Law School and her bachelors from Bryn Mawr College.
She succeeds retiring NAMI President Barry Carpenter.