Ohio hog farmers discuss key pork issues in Washington

L to R: Alan Wuebker, Versailles; Dr. Bill Minton, Chickasaw; U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, District 17; Jim Albaugh, West Milton; Chuck Wildman, South Charleston.

During the 2010 Fall Legislative Action Conference, hosted by the National Pork Producers Council, 16 Ohio hog farmers traveled to Washington D.C. where they discussed and educated Congressmen on agriculture legislation important to the pork community.

“Ohio hog farmers can take great pride in the OPPC leadership that participated in our trip to Washington,” said Dick Isler, executive vice president for the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC). “This group spoke with all 18 of our congressional members and two U.S. Senators, explaining the importance of these key issues and the impact they could have on Ohio’s pork community.”

Throughout each of the visits, farmers discussed key pork issues, such as the poor impact the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule could have on marketing hogs across the country. In addition, Ohio hog farmers stressed the importance of passing free trade agreements with Columbia, Korea and Panama, which would not only be great opportunities for continued pork exports, but would have significant positive impact on the U.S. economy as well.

OPPC and Ohio hog farmer representatives who attended include: Jim Albaugh, West Milton; Todd Stickley, Urbana; Jim Heimerl, Johnstown; Dick Isler, Columbus; Bill Fricke, Archbold; Dave Heisler, Hilliard; Alan Wuebker, Versailles; Chuck Wildman, South Charleston; Mike Barhorst, Mansfield; Jean Bell, Zanesville; Doug Heacock, Cardington; Duane Stateler, McComb; Dr. Bill Minton, Chickasaw; Ken Garee, Sunbury; Bill Knapke, Fort Recovery; and Jamie Banbury, Danville.

Ohio pork production ranks ninth in the nation with 3,700 hog farms, the vast majority of which are family owned. With 10,860 jobs related to the pork sector in the state, which contribute more than 1.3 billion dollars annually to the economy, these legislative issues are a top priority for hog farmers to maintain their farms and continue to influence Ohio’s economy.

For more information about the visits, please call 614.882.5887 or visit www.ohiopork.org.

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