Ricketts Backs Two Key Agriculture Bills Following Farm Bill for Nebraska Listening Tour
June 27, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the Farm Bill for Nebraska listening tour with the entire Nebraska delegation, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) announced his support for two key pieces of legislation that had been raised by producers – the EATS Act and the HPAI Act.
“Agriculture is the heart and soul of what we do in Nebraska, and we need to protect it at all costs,” said Ricketts. “Senator Marshall’s EATS Act would ensure far-left states like California don’t get to tell Nebraska agriculture how to run their business. The HPAI Act would ensure our poultry producers receive assistance when their areas are impacted by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks like we saw last year. I’m proud to support these bills and grateful for the critical input we received from Nebraska farmers and ranchers last week.”
“Nebraska’s pork industry generates over $600 million for the state’s economy. Adding more rules and regulations like California’s Proposition 12 would drastically change the trajectory and potential of our pork producers,” said Al Juhnke, Executive Director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association. “We thank Senator Ricketts for co-sponsoring the EATS Act to protect our way of life and this critical Nebraska industry.”
“The growth of Nebraska’s poultry industry is one of the biggest agricultural success stories in all of Nebraska agricultural history. At the same time, threats such as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) threaten the economic future of that industry,” said Mark McHargue, President, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation. “The Healthy Poultry Assistance and Indemnification (HPAI) Act helps ensure our nation’s poultry producers are financially protected should an HPAI outbreak occur. We sincerely thank Senator Pete Ricketts for his cosponsorship of this important legislation.”
The Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, introduced by Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), would preserve the right of states and local government to regulate agriculture within their jurisdiction – free from interference of other jurisdictions. The bill would prevent efforts like California’s Proposition 12, which requires meat products raised outside the state conform to the radical animal rights standards adopted by California under the guise of “public health.” Unfortunately, the Supreme Court recently upheld Proposition 12 in a devastating blow to producers across the country.
Currently, USDA only covers the indemnification of birds in highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infected flocks. The Healthy Poultry Assistance and Indemnification (HPAI) Act, introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), would expand payment eligibility to all growers in the USDA-determined “control area” who are forbidden from growing flocks until the virus is contained. During last year’s outbreak, it took several months in some parts of the country. A control zone is a designated area where the HPAI outbreak has occurred.
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