On May 18th the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the United States implementation of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is illegal. The National Pork Producers Council and the Minnesota Pork Producers Association has been steadfast in opposing COOL as written and have warned of impending tariffs that will come if the legislation is not fixed. We urged you to contact Senator Klobuchar and Franken and your member of the U.S. House of Representatives to address this issue now. If not the U.S. risks retaliation which could lower prices paid to farmers because of trade distribution. Dr. Steve Meyer has written a very good overview of the issue and its consequences.
Representative Bob Gunther hosted his annual I-90 picnic with most Minnesota House and Senate membersin attendance. The Minnesota Pork Producers Association grilled pork chops on a stick and served the food to the state legislature. This gave members the chance to discuss state legislative issues. Bill Crawford (Fairmont), Adam Barka (Sleepy Eye), Jay Moore (Jackson), and David Preisler (MPPA Executive Director) represented MPPA at the grilling.
“The annual event is highly anticipated by Legislators because of the great food and conversation,” said Preisler.
Many of you have seen news coverage regarding DNR “sweeps” of farms checking for well permits. The Minnesota Pork Producers Association (MPPA) is meeting with the DNR the end of April to discuss the guidelines that are being used to determine if a farm needs a permit.
The MPPA contends that the DNR guidance document is over 30 years old and does not reflect the technology used in barns today for watering and bio-security. In the case of finishing pigs the DNR estimates are over three times the actual amount being used. Our calculations show that a 2,400 head finishing site without household or other uses will use just under one million gallons per year. The one million is important because it triggers the need for a general permit from the DNR.
For farms that that use 1-5 million gallons per year the general permit application cost is $100 with yearly fee of $140. The farm must also keep monthly usage records and report them once a year by February 15th. If a farm uses more than five million gallons per year an individual permit is issued and the cost is $150.
If your farm is hooked onto rural water there is no permit required regardless of the usage since you are paying for the water and the rural water system is maintaining the permit. The only thing to remember is that some farmers have dual systems. We will keep you informed of any future changes and will continue to advocate on your behalf to have the DNR use correct information.
Last week pig farmers from across the state met at the capitol to discuss issues impacting the pork industry. Agriculture research was a main topic of conversation. Bill HF 779 would invest $37.5 million in various research programs with the primary goal of building staff capacity. Other topics of discussion included the vet diagnostic lab and the new isolation unit near the diagnostic lab at the University of Minnesota, along with the truck washes and a nuisance bill protecting farms from public and private claims if the farm meets all standards in law. Click Here to Review the Legislative Agenda
“I believe having a few minutes with our Representatives and Senators where we have their undivided attention to express our commitment to the issues we are asking them to support is important,” said Larry Liepold a pig farmer from Okabena.
“It is an additional reminder as to what the pork industry adds to the economy in the form of jobs both on and off the farm, adding value to grains and oil seed, and contributing revenue through the marketing of our product.”
Please join us in representing Minnesota Pork at the Capitol. Meet with your representatives and senators to discuss issues impacting the pork industry. Issue briefings will be given by MPPA Lobbyist , Jerry Schoenfeld,and MPPA Executive Director, David Preisler. The briefings will be followed by visits to your lawmakers. MPPA can schedule your visits and find others to go with you if you are new to the process.
Feb. 26 2015
Lunch will be provided
Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge (Kelly Inn)
161 St. Anthony Ave
St. Paul, MN
Meet in the Ramsey Room
Car Pooling Available
Contact Colleen Carey at 507-345-8814 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org