NPPC, Farm Bureau Lead Nearly 1,000 in Coalition to Urge Congressional Fix to California Prop. 12

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2024 — The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) joined forces with the American Farm Bureau Federation to garner support from 900+ agricultural stakeholders supporting the federal fix to California Prop. 12 to be included in the 2024 Farm Bill.

Laying out robust arguments in a letter to U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Ranking Member David Scott (D-GA) on Prop. 12’s damaging implications, the coalition highlighted the following:
  • Marketplace mayhem: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned the House Agriculture Committee that unless Congress provides a solution to Prop. 12, there will be “chaos in the marketplace.” Secretary Vilsack also reiterated to the Senate Agriculture Committee that “farmers do not need the chaos; they need clarity and certainty.”
  • Patchwork of state laws to fuel consolidation: Absent congressional action, producers are “at risk of arbitrary and conflicting state laws across all 50 states…most severely harm[ing] small and medium-sized farms by imposing massive compliance costs and forcing significant consolidation throughout agriculture.” University studies show that building “Proposition 12-compliant barns can cost 40% more than traditional barns…not including the estimated 15% higher operating costs caused by reduced productivity.” Larger farms will be able to better weather the cost, and small farms will be forced “to decide between exiting the business or entering into a production contract, resulting in fewer, larger farms owning a greater portion of sows in the U.S.”
  • International trade threats: Prop. 12 compliance weakens America’s ability to negotiate trade agreements, “as countries could impose similar non-science based regional restrictions on U.S. exports.”  American agriculture is also concerned that Prop. 12 puts our products at risk of retaliatory action, as Canada has already raised concerns.
  • Producers trapped by California law: Pork producers lack the luxury of choosing not to sell into the California market. As Secretary Vilsack also said to the Senate Agriculture Committee, “There is not a choice between doing business with California and not in California. You’re essentially going to be driven by that requirement.”
  • Freedom to farm protected: The House Farm Bill protects producers’ freedom to farm, but it also “continues allowing states to act independently, imposing laws that impact commerce within their borders and regulating practices occurring there.”
  • A bipartisan imperative: The U.S. Supreme Court and Secretary Vilsack agree: “only Congress has the authority to prevent ‘chaos’ in the marketplace and provide farmers the certainty they need.”
The letter includes signatures from over 40 states, as well as the following national organizations: the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference of American Trucking Associations, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, Beef Alliance, Livestock Marketing Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Lamb Feeders Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Sorghum Producers, National Turkey Federation, Rural & Agricultural Council of America, and U.S. Cattlemen’s Association.
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