Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement regarding legislation introduced by Senator Hoeven (R-ND) and Senator Stabenow (D-MI) that ties repeal of country of origin labeling (COOL) to both the elimination of existing market driven programs and the establishment of a so-called voluntary country of origin (COOL) labeling program for beef, pork, and chicken. This new voluntary program would operate under similar rules as the program found to violate U.S. international trade rules.
Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Sectors Air Concerns About Tight Feed Grain Supplies
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Thomas Rooney, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry held a public hearing to examine the issue of feed availability and its effect on the livestock, dairy, and poultry industries.
Feed accounts for a major component of food animal production - 50 to 80 percent depending on the species. The U.S. livestock, dairy, and poultry industries are confronting tight feed supplies. Many analysts believe this is going to be a persistent challenge for the next several years. This year a widespread drought across parts of the country has only compounded the problem. Members of the Subcommittee heard testimony from representatives of every sector of the animal agriculture industry who described how these conditions are causing stress.
"Our subcommittee began this Congress with a series of overview hearings that gave us some perspective about the production practices and public policy challenges of the animal agriculture community. At each of these hearings, we heard a good bit about the issue of feed availability, and I am pleased we had the opportunity today to examine that issue in greater detail," said Chairman Thomas Rooney (R-FL).
"California producers have always been extremely vulnerable to the fluctuations in feed prices. Prices have skyrocketed recently, especially harming our dairy, livestock, and poultry producers. It is time for Congress to stop picking winners and losers, which is causing a shortage of feed in our country," said Ranking Member Dennis Cardoza (D-CA).
Written testimony provided by the witnesses is linked below.
Dr. Steven Roger Meyer, President, Paragon Economics, Adel, Iowa
Mr. Philip Greene, Vice President, Foster Farms Inc., Fresno, California
Mr. Ted Seger, President, Farbest Foods, Huntingburg, Indiana
Mr. Michael Welch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Harrison Poultry, Inc., Bethlehem, Georgia
Dr. Eric Erba, Senior Vice President for Administrative Affairs, California Dairies, Inc., Visalia, California
Mr. Randy Spronk, Pork Producer, Spronk Brothers III LLP, Edgerton, Minnesota