Iowa Pork Congress trade show

Despite winter storms, producers made it to the trade show at the Iowa Pork Congress Jan. 23-24 in Des Moines.

DES MOINES — Delegates with the Iowa Pork Producers Association passed resolutions and heard industry updates at their annual meeting in Des Moines Jan. 22.

Trent Thiele, a producer from Elma and newly elected IPPA president, said priorities for the organization over the coming year include trade, foreign animal disease (FAD) prevention and right to farm legislation.

He said a resolution increasing contributions to the National Pork Producers Council Strategic Investment Program is aimed to direct additional funding toward helping to resolve the current trade dispute with several major pork customers.

“We want to see fair trade and get rid of the retaliatory tariffs,” Thiele said. “We want the new agreement replacing NAFTA to get signed, so we can eliminate the aluminum tariffs and then the tariffs on our pork.”

He said the IPPA is working to help all producers in the state participate in the premises identification program.

“We want to get all producers on board with that, because we don’t want our ability to trade shut off completely if we have a FAD outbreak,” Thiele said. “We want to be able to control the disease once it’s identified.”

Right to farm legislation is sought to limit damage caused by animal activists, he said. Thiele said the IPPA is supporting reinstatement of a law that makes it illegal to for someone to work undercover at an ag facility. This law was struck down in a federal court earlier this month.

“We are trying to get together with all the barnyard groups to get this moving forward in the right direction,” Thiele said.

Thiele said that despite trade issues and other concerns, many producers are optimistic about the future.

“We are hoping to get this trade dispute resolved very soon,” he said. “When 26 percent of your production is exported, that leaves a lot of pork for people to eat domestically.”

Resolutions approved by the delegates include:

1. Recommending the voluntary contribution to the Strategic Investment Program increase from 10 cents per live hundredweight to 20 cents, effective July 1, 2021.

2. Identifying challenges and necessary steps for mandatory swine premises identification, with a report provided at the 2020 annual meeting.

3. Work with the Iowa Department of Transportation on the development of a pork-promotion license plate.

4. Recommending the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council work to identify industry needs, make recommendations and develop sources of funding.

Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.