Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is filing a lawsuit against U-S Ag Secretary Ann Veneman, challenging her decision to toss out the results of last fall’s pork check-off. One of Veneman’s first acts as head of the U-S-D-A was to rule that the pork check-off will continue, despite a vote by farmers to end it. Venemen says it was an issue she had to deal with right after walking in the door in her new job.Veneman says her legal team told her it would be impossible to end the check-off, based on the results of the referendum. So, she says she negotiated some changes at the National Pork Producers Council, which had been running the check-off programs. She says putting some restrictions on the way the pork board is operating is underway and there will be a review to see if producers want another referendum in 2003.In other U-S-D-A news, Veneman says Derryl McLaren, a farmer from Farragut, will become the executive director of the state’s Farm Service Agency. McLaren will give up his seat in the Iowa Senate to take the job. Dan Brown of Iowa Falls will become the state director of the Rural Development agency. Brown has been a professor at Ellsworth Community College. In 1998, Brown made an unsuccessful bid to become state Ag Secretary. Both men are republicans.
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