COVID-related challenges have taken a severe financial and emotional toll on U.S. hog farmers, and rapid federal government assistance is needed to help thousands of pork producers weather this crisis. Not only has the pandemic taken a toll on livestock farmers, but hog farmers also need to be aware of the threat of activist on their farm.
The impact of COVID-19 has caused hog values to plummet, creating a financial disaster for pork producers nationwide who face a collective $5 billion loss for the remainder of the year. Additionally, U.S. pork producers face staggering costs for the millions of hogs that will be euthanized as pigs back up on farms due to ongoing bottlenecks in the pork supply chain.
Livestock agriculture provisions included in the House-passed HEROES Act would provide much-needed relief measures to U.S. pork producers. NPPC urges the Senate to quickly adopt these provisions in companion legislation:
- Compensation for euthanized livestock that can’t be processed into the food supply due to COVID-related packing plant capacity reductions;
- Expanded direct payments — without payment limitations — to livestock farmers who have suffered severe losses as COVID-related market disruptions have caused the value of their livestock to plummet;
- Increased funding for animal health surveillance and laboratories, which have been tapped to perform COVID-19 testing during this human health emergency; and
- Mental health assistance for our farmers who face an unimaginable animal welfare crisis.
“All pork producers are hurting, and immediate action is imperative,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “We need the Senate to act quickly on companion legislation to provide this critical lifeline to hog farmers. Without prompt government assistance, many generational family farms will go bankrupt. This will destroy the livelihood of our communities and lead to consolidation and contraction in a farm sector that generates more than 500,000 jobs and $23 billion in personal income,” he added.
In addition to legislative help, livestock farmers are reminded of the threat of activist on their farm. It is important to be vigilant in monitoring the security of your farm at all times, for the safety of yourself, your family, your employees and the livestock and poultry in your care. If you find a suspicious vehicle near your farm or discover criminals on your property, do not try to apprehend them. Contact local law enforcement.
“Most people think they will never be the target, but no one can assume they are safe,” says Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers Executive Director Brian Waddingham. “There are many preventative measures you can take to protect your farm and your livestock.” For a complete list of ways to keep your farm out of the crosshairs, click here.