New U-S Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman wants to “reform,” not eliminate, the pork check-off, a move that’s angering some Iowa producers. Iowa Congressman Tom Latham is withholding judgement on the move.Latham says before a statement is released, they need to look at the long-term viability for the marketing of pork nationwide. Pork producers nationwide voted a few months ago to get rid of the check-off, which takes 45 cents from every hundred dollars of pork sold to use for public relations, research and producer education. Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell says he’s also withholding judgement on the pork check-off issue. Boswell, a democrat and farmer, says there were apparently concerns over how the vote was conducted. He says federal officials are apparently trying to straighten out those concerns. He believes they’ll extend the check-off for another two years and then have another referendum with a different voting procedure.Senator Tom Harkin, too, isn’t certain what will happen next with the check-off. He says he’s concerned if pork producers really had a fair chance to make their intentions known.
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