The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the global voice for the U.S. pork industry and leader on public-policy issues for America’s 60,000 pork producers, announced on Dec. 5 its support for Farmers for Free Trade.
Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan campaign co-chaired by former Senators Max Baucus and Richard Lugar that is working to rebuild support for trade at the grassroots level. The National Pork Producers Council joins the American Farm Bureau Federation and other agriculture trade and commodity groups that are partnering with Farmers for Free Trade to strengthen support for trade in rural communities.
“NPPC is proud to get behind this bipartisan effort to build a sustainable network of support for trade among our nation’s farmers and ranchers,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “Exports are vital to the financial livelihoods of pork producers. We need help getting the word out more broadly in rural America that trade generates jobs and prosperity.
“We look forward to working with our friends in many other sectors of American agriculture as well as with Farmers for Free Trade to get out the message that rural America benefits from trade.”
“The support of the National Pork Producers Council is a huge boost for our bipartisan effort,” said Senator Baucus. “Not only because they’ll help us reach pork producers across the country, but also because they’ve long led the fight for smart trade policies that help American farmers. The Pork Producers understand that rebuilding bipartisan support for trade on Capitol Hill requires first reestablishing consensus at home among the American people. With the support of the Pork Producers we’re going to continue to organize, educate and mobilize farmers whose livelihoods depend on trade.”
“Momentum behind this effort continues to grow,” said Senator Lugar. “With the support of groups like the Pork Producers and the Farm Bureau, we are going to ramp up our efforts at the state and district level. This effort is more needed than ever in order to help alleviate the decline in farm incomes by opening new export markets and safeguarding access to the markets we have.”
Farmers for Free Trade is currently working at the grassroots level to organize and educate farmers about the importance of trade, including through work at state commodity conventions, through state proclamations, by reaching farmers through social media, and by identifying local spokespeople, among other efforts. Senators Baucus and Lugar outlined some of the key policy priorities that will help rebuild bipsartisan support for trade in an op-ed earlier this year.