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National pork council seeks congressional solution for Prop 12

National pork council seeks congressional solution for Prop 12

By Andi Anderson

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), along with more than 900 agricultural organizations, has initiated a major push for Congress to address California’s Proposition 12 in the 2024 Farm Bill. This coalition, comprising diverse agricultural stakeholders, aims to mitigate the disruptive impact of Prop. 12 in the farming and livestock sectors.

In their communication to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, the coalition outlined significant concerns about Prop. 12, stressing the need for federal intervention to avoid marketplace chaos.

Tom Vilsack has emphasized to both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees that the uncertainty caused by Prop. 12 could lead to severe disruptions in the agricultural sector, highlighting the urgent need for clarity and certainty for farmers.

The coalition argues that without a congressional resolution, Prop. 12 will force a disparate patchwork of state laws, disproportionately affecting small and medium-sized farms.

Studies have indicated that compliance with Prop. 12 could escalate construction costs for barns by 40% and operational costs by 15%, due to decreased productivity.

This would inevitably favor larger operations, potentially forcing smaller farms out of business or into restrictive production contracts.

Another critical concern is the impact on international trade. The compliance requirements under Prop. 12 could hinder the United States in negotiating trade agreements, with potential for retaliatory actions from other nations, as already voiced by Canada.

Moreover, pork producers are particularly vulnerable as they cannot simply choose to avoid the California market, one of the largest in the U.S. This compels them to comply with California's stringent standards, regardless of their operational preferences or financial capabilities.

The House Farm Bill currently offers some protections for producers’ freedom to farm and allows states some regulatory autonomy. However, the Supreme Court and Secretary Vilsack both agree that a federal legislative solution is necessary to prevent market chaos and provide the needed certainty for America’s farmers.

Support from various Indiana agricultural organizations, including the Indiana Pork Producers Association and Indiana Farm Bureau, underscores the broad regional and national consensus on the need for this legislative fix.

The collective voice of these stakeholders reflects a bipartisan imperative to integrate a solution to Prop. 12 within the framework of the 2024 Farm Bill, aiming to safeguard the interests of U.S. agriculture and maintain stability in the marketplace.

Photo Credit: istock-srdjan-stepic

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Categories: Indiana, Government & Policy, Livestock, Hogs

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