Fifteen percent of the nation’s pork producers and importers have signed apetition asking for a referendum to end the manditory pork check-off. Producers pay 45 cents on every one-hundred dollars worth of pork they sell.Marshall County farmer Larry Ginter says the National Pork Producers Councilhas mis-used the money — and doesn’t represent the interests of small,family farmers.Rhonda Perry of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center raises hogs on a farm nearFayette, Missouri. Perry says the check-off dollars haven’t benefittedfamily farmers.Perry says the National Pork Producers Council or N-P-P-C can’t representboth family farmers and corporate hog factories.Paul Sobocinski raises hogs near Wabasso, Minnesota and is a leader of theLand Stewardship Project. Sobocinski says pork prices have declined ineight ofthe 12 years the check-off’s been in effect.The 16-thounsand-five-hundred petition signatures will be “verified” byU.S.D.A. officials. A vote could come sometime later this summer or fall.
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