The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the unconstitutionality of the pork checkoff will hurt family pork producers, says Rob Johnson, executive director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA).
“The only way independent family producers and the majority of producers can have an effect on what is going on in the industry is to be united,” he says. “If that united voice and united funding goes away, then it is going to put the power in the hands of the largest players.”
At the University of Nebraska, the pork checkoff currently funds six research projects dealing with odor control, disease and nutrition. Past projects have improved product quality, enhanced animal welfare, increased production and producer efficiency.
“We have seen the program at work, and are confident it works on the behalf of all pork producers, regardless of type or size of operation,” observes Dave Hansen, NPPA president from Hartington, NE.