“America’s hog farmers take pride in supplying the world’s most popular, affordable, and highest quality protein. We are resilient, and typically a self-sufficient bunch,” shares Howard “A.V.” Roth, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) president.
Roth, however, continued by laying out the harsh reality United States hog farmers face: COVID-19 has created unprecedented circumstances, having a sudden and devestating impact on U.S. hog farmers.
U.S. pork producers are in crisis and need immediate government intervention, shares Roth. He notes several farmers are exiting the business, and fears damages will worsen without immediate government intervention. Furthermore, Roth lays out NPPC’s short list of asks.
“Over one-billion-dollars in pork purchases by the USDA to clear out a backed up supply, supplementing agencies and food banks facing increased demand due to rising unemployment. These purchases should accomodate pork products packaged for restaurants and other segments of the food service market. (And) direct payments to producers without eligibiltiy resrictions,” Roth said.
NPPC also seeks a legislative fix to emergency loan programs. Roth says the programs, as they currently are, leave farmers behind.
“Approximately 10,000 family, hog farms are in jeopardy because they don’t have access to much needed capital offered by the Small Business Administration. NPPC urges Congress to increase the cap on qualifying businesses on those that employ up to 1,500 and make agricultural businesses eligible for the economic injury disaster loan program.”