Ohio Farm Bureau led a group of state Farm Bureaus representing farmers in the Midwest to write a letter to USDA regarding the recent court order that would effectively end the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), asking USDA to request a stay of the new court decision.

Addressed to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the letter stressed that the reduced line speeds forced by the court order would have adverse impacts on hog producers as it would significantly decrease slaughter capacity.

The letter also cited research from Iowa State economist Dr. Dermot Hayes that estimates the decision would reduce national packing capacity and cause a total economic loss of $80 million for U.S. hog farmers, much of which would be concentrated in Midwestern states:

The hog industry has suffered greatly over the past several years, combating market volatility stemming from African Swine Fever, packing capacity and supply chain issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and trade implications from some of our country’s largest pork importers. They can’t afford another setback due to processing capacity reductions.

Over 25% of the nation’s hog slaughter capacity has been enrolled in the NSIS program. In the Midwest, there is even more reliance on the processing capacity provided by these plants. For example, in Ohio nearly 40% of all hogs are processed in plants operating using increased line speeds. In Pennsylvania, it is estimated the decision would have at least a 20% impact on pork processing capacity.

The letter shared with Secretary Vilsack emphasized that the nation’s hog farmers will suffer the greatest harm from upstream impacts, adding:

With the current production cycle already underway, farmers will have few options to have hogs processed if current processing capacity is reduced. In the case of independent producers, hogs may have nowhere to go as processor-owned hogs will be given priority. Given the impact and administrative nature of the court’s ruling, our organizations call on you to expend all means necessary to ensure producers are not adversely impacted. First and foremost, USDA should request a stay of the recent court decision.

Ohio Farm Bureau is continuing to work directly with stakeholders impacted by this ruling and is collaborating with them to seek out solutions.

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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