Thursday was a big day for Emmet County farmers - especially Emmet County pork producers - when Jim Boyer of Ringsted told a U.S. House subcommittee about unfair trade practices hiding behind the skirts of "public safety".
Boyer, testifying for the National Pork Producers Council, told the Small Business Committee's, energy and trade panel that sanitary and phytosanitary measures are keeping U.S. pork out of other countries.
Boyer cited as an example Russia which has a zero-tolerance standard for pathogens on meat, an impossibility.
And in Taiwan, U.S. pork exports containing ractopamine, a U..S. FDA-approved feed additive, are restricted.
"We are convinced that if we sit by passively while SPS measures are erected and maintained, we will see our exports rapidly erode," Boyer testified. "Pork producers understand that the future of our industry depends on adopting new and safe technologies and in expanding exports. We must protect our current market access from unfair barriers or such expansion will be impossible."
Boyer has already proven his leadership ability locally as Armstrong-Ringsted Board of Education president as well as a voice of moderation and reason for agriculture through the Farm Bureau.
Now, he's taken to the national stage as a voice for the Iowa family farmer.
We are indeed lucky to have a man of Boyer's caliber speaking on behalf of Iowa agriculture. And that's important, because in Iowa, agriculture is our economy.