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NPPC: EATS Act, market access important in 2024 Farm Bill

The group said it hopes the House Agriculture Committee passes the bill soon to help solidify the future of the U.S. pork industry.

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The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) announced its support of the 2024 Farm Bill, citing the bill’s inclusion of the Ending Agriculture Trade Suppression (EATS) Act and market access programs for U.S. pork.

The EATS Act is designed to counter laws such as Proposition 12 that only allow the sale of pork from farms that do not utilize gestation crates and eggs from farms that use cage-free laying systems.

While the EATS Act has been divisive in the animal agriculture industry and accused of not supporting smaller-scale pork farmers, NPPC says the act is a “legislative solution to the host of problems triggered by California’s Proposition 12.”

The Farm Bill’s export market programs include the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD).

The programs are designed to help build export markets for U.S. agricultural products through marketing and promotion and the reduction of foreign import constraints. According to the Farm Bill, the trade programs will help mitigate global food insecurity while providing U.S. producers new markets and improving local economies.

NPPC believes these market access programs will help increase the pork industry’s export gains and contribute to the creation of thousands full-and part-time jobs across the U.S.

“America’s pork producers appreciate Chairman G.T. Thompson’s willingness to listen, put pen to paper, and address the most pressing issues facing the agriculture industry across the country – a prime example of how our government should work,” stated NPPC President Lori Stevermer. “The inclusion of pork producers’ top priorities in the 2024 House Farm Bill is a testament to our industry’s ability to unite and speak up about our common challenges.”

The farm bill was originally set to expire in the fall of 2023, however, Congress was given an extension, putting the new deadline in the fall of 2024.

Wild swine, entry port protection

In the NPPC’s announcement, it also mentioned the Farm Bill’s Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSECCP) and the authorization of the National Detector Dog Training Center, both of which would help prevent and control potential disease outbreaks in the U.S. such as African Swine Fever (ASF).

The FSECCP is designed to help pork producers address the threat of feral swine to agriculture, ecosystems and animal health. Authorizing the National Detector Dog Training Center would help protect domestic agricultural and natural resources at U.S. entry ports, explained NPPC.

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