IL Pig Farmers Promote Pork in Washington, D.C.
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Eight representatives from the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) traveled to Washington, D.C. for two days as part of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) legislative action conference.
While there, Jason Propst (IPPA Current President), Mike Haag (IPPA President Elect), Pam Janssen (IPPA Vice President), Dale Weitekamp (IPPA Secretary), Curt Zehr (At-Large Director), Phil Borgic (NPPC board member), Jennifer Tirey (IPPA Executive Director), and Paul Wettstein of The Maschhoffs conducted 20 meetings, one with each member of the Illinois Congressional delegation. Ken Maschhoff, Illinois pork producer and NPPC President, lead the fall conference.
“One-on-one conversations with our Illinois congressional members, and their staff, gives us an opportunity to advocate for our industry and get in front of issues that impact us,” says Propst.
Key issues discussed during those meetings were: the initiation and expansion of markets for U.S. pork exports, importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), robust funding for a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Vaccine Bank in the 2018 Farm Bill, and support of the “No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017.”
Illinois pig farmers depend on solid trade relationships with countries, such as Japan and Korea. The Japan Free Trade Agreement and KORUS are crucial for continued export opportunities and success of the farmers right here in Illinois. The United States over the past 10 years, on average, has been the No. 1 exporter of pork in the world. Additionally, $5.9 billion of U.S. pork was exported to more than 100 countries.
FMD presents a critical risk to the U.S. livestock industry, crippling the entire agricultural sector and having long-lasting ramifications on its economic viability if an outbreak occurred. The
FMD vaccine bank will give the livestock industry the ability to rapidly vaccinate livestock against FMD.
There are currently more than 2,000 farms producing 5.1 million total hogs in the state. In Illinois, the pork industry contributes over $1.8 billion to the state’s economy, generates more than $170 million in taxes and provides more than 21,900 jobs.
The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) represents more than 2,000 pork producers throughout Illinois and the Illinois pork industry, which contributes more than $1.8 billion and more than 10,500 jobs to the state’s economy. IPPA is comprised of county pork producer groups in approximately 20 counties throughout Illinois. IPPA is an affiliate of the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board.