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Pork Industry to Ask for Additional Disease Prevention Funding in Next Federal Farm Bill

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Photo courtesy of the National Pork Producers Council.

Commodity groups are starting to focus on the next farm bill, as Congress’ two Ag Committees hold or gear up for hearings on the next five-year farm policy bill.  One of those groups is the National Pork Producers Council.

While corn, soybean and wheat groups again focus on safety net programs like crop insurance, pork producers and other livestock groups are asking for funding to help with disease prevention.

“We need funding for the [National Animal Health Monitoring] lab. Surveillance and protection of foreign animal disease in this country is key,” says Terry Wolters, President of the National Pork Producers Council.

Wolters says a couple of diseases are a big concern for the pork industry.

“We often talk about African Swine Fever, it seems to have been moved to the forefront, but in the last farm bill we had approval for vaccine for Foot and Mouth Disease,” says Wolters.  “Foot and Mouth Disease is a much broader disease that would encompass dairy and beef, and so, again, its another key issue for us within the industry.”

Wolters says federal funding for the prevention and treatment of disease will help keep pork exports rolling.

“Those prevention programs, as it relates to us being able to trade around the globe are very, very important. We’re dependent on trade, like I said, and without that trade, our Ag industry in general, is in trouble.”

The U.S. is the world’s top pork exporter with over $7 billion sold abroad last year.  Indiana is fifth in the U.S. for pork production with 3,000 pork farmers across the state, according to the Indiana Pork Producers Association.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report on what the pork industry is asking for as part of the next federal farm policy bill.