Ohio hog farmers traveled to Washington

Pictured left to right: Dick Isler, Executive VP, Ohio Pork Producers Council; Doug and Jennie Heacock, Morrow County; Tim Stebbins, Montgomery County; Jerry Happy, Auglaize County; Randy Brown, Wyandot County; Senator Rob Portman; Chuck Wildman, Clark County; Alan Wuebker, Darke County; Matt Heimerl, Licking County; and Quinton Keeran, OPPC Communications Manager. Not pictured; Duane Stateler, Hancock County; Jim and Jeff Heimerl, Licking County; and Todd Stickley, Champaign County.

The Ohio Pork Producers Council recently travelled to Washington D.C., as part of the National Pork Producers Council’s Legislative Action Conference. 16 pork producers, from across the state, represented Ohio’s pork industry; calling on senators and congressmen, and voicing both appreciation and concern regarding recent political issues, as well as hearing from National Pork Producers Council staff.

Main issues of concern for the group included free trade agreements, GIPSA and Mexican trucking laws.
Senator Rob Portman was on the docket as one of the 18 scheduled visits the pork producers made on “the hill”. The pork producers were invited to listen in on a session as Portman spoke, about the free trade agreements, on the senate floor.

”I will tell you, this morning we had one of our weekly coffees and the Ohio Pork Producers came, there were about 12 from around the State of Ohio. Do you know what the No. 1 issue was they raised with me? Trade and getting these trade agreements done. Why? Because it affects their prices directly. They have to have these international sales in order to make ends meet. Particularly with the price of feed going up, they have to have these foreign markets” Portman said.

The conference included the “Rack of Pork” congressional reception on Capitol Hill. Guests, including congressmen, congressional staff and pork producers, enjoyed an array of pork dishes and used the time to discuss current issues with congressmen and other producers from around the nation.

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