Stake in Mandatory Price Reporting
It is official – the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act
of 1999 has been reauthorized and needs only the president’s signature
to be law for five more years. That signature should not be a problem.
The legislative action comes as a relief to everyone in the livestock
business, given what happened five years ago. When the act first expired
in 2005, it took over a year to get it reauthorized due to the
objections of several upper-Midwest senators who, because of complaints
from a small minority of producers, believed that the system was deeply
flawed. When asked about their perceived problems with the act, they
never had a good answer. The issue pretty much revolved around some
so-called “mistakes” in the cattle reports, which I still don’t
Regardless, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) had to rewrite the
rules, which took the better part of a year. Then, it took another year
to “officially” reauthorize the mandatory system.
To their great credit, pork packers continued to voluntarily report
virtually everything required by the mandatory system while the good
Senators were dithering and AMS rewrote the rule. Ditto for steer and
heifer slaughterers and most cow slaughterers, although the wheels fell
off of lamb reporting in the interim. The sheep industry was hurt badly
since there was virtually no data upon which to make
Export Market is Solid, but There’s Room to Grow
The international marketplace has been the primary growth
engine for the U.S. pork industry in recent years. The trend continues
as this year’s export levels flirt with all-time highs and producers
are seeing a solid return on every hog sold.
Through the first seven months of 2010, exports stand at a robust 2.4
billion pounds valued at $2.74 billion. That’s a 2% jump in volume
over the same period in 2009, while the value is up a solid 8%. This
represents a measurable return to producers. This year, exports have
added $44.37/head, nearly $5/head more than last year.
Even with nearly 24% of all U.S. pork going into the international
market, Philip Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export
Federation (USMEF), feels there is room for pork exports to
Price Reporting Modified, Passed
The House of Representatives passed the Mandatory Price
Reporting Act of 2010. This legislation renews mandatory price
reporting for beef, pork, lamb, and adds dairy products for five years.
The legislation modifies existing law by requiring mandatory reporting
of wholesale pork cuts in order to expand transparency in the pork
industry. It also requires USDA to establish within one year an
electronic price reporting system for dairy products. The Senate
passed the bill earlier this summer, so the bill now goes to President
Obama for his consideration. The legislation was supported by American
Farm Bureau Federation, American Meat Institute, American Sheep Industry
Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers
Union, National Pork Producers Council, National Meat Association and
the United States Cattleman’s Association.
Veterinary Services Investment Act Passed — The House of
Representatives passed legislation to address the growing concern of the
need for more large animal veterinarians. The Veterinary Services
Investment Act would establish a competitive grant program at USDA to
support efforts to increase access to veterinary care in underserved
areas. Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman of the House
Agriculture Committee, said, “Rural areas are facing a critical and
growing shortage of large animal veterinarians. These veterinarians are
the first lines of defense against animal disease and a crucial player
in ensuring the safety of our food. This bill will encourage
veterinarians to serve these areas where their skills are needed.”
The legislation was authored by Congressman Adrian Smith
Producer Jill Appell Appointed to Trade Committee
Altona, IL, pork producer Jill Appell has been named by
President Obama to a White House Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and
Appell has served in many official capacities include president of the
National Pork Producers Council, president of the Illinois Pork
Producers Association, state director of USDA’s Rural Development,
Governor’s Livestock Industry Task Force during 1995-1998 and on the
Farm Bureau’s Task Force on Women’s Role in Agriculture.
She is currently a member of the USDA Farm Service Agency Illinois State
Technical Committee and the USDA Technical Advisory Committee for Trade
of Animals and Animal Products.
Appell and her husband Paul run a wean-to-finish operation.
Appell was named one of 10 Masters of the Pork Industry by National
Hog Farmer magazine in 2007 (See the May 15, 2007 issue).
September 18-21, 2010: Allen D. Leman
Swine Conference, RiverCentre, St. Paul, MN
For more information
contact: (765)-463-3594 or www.cvm.edu/VetMedCE.
September 21-22, 2010: 71st annual Minnesota Nutrition
Conference, Holiday Inn, Owatonna, MN
For more information go to www.ansci.umn.edu/mnc.html.
Sept. 23-24, 2010: Zoonoses: Understanding the Animal Agriculture
and Human Health Connection, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC; contact:
NPPC’s grassroots organization
trains industry stakeholders to tell the story of U.S. pork. As a LEADR
you will help lawmakers understand how their decisions affect your
business, your family, your community and your ability to provide
consumers with safe, affordable and healthy pork. Click here to learn
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