Funding for the program that sponsors the advertisements touting pork as the other white meat might soon come to an end. A US District Court in Michigan has told the United States Department of Agriculture to quit collecting the pork check-off fee. A mandatory check-off is assessed against each hog sold. Hog farmers across the country, though, voted two years ago to end the check-off. Rhonda Perry with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center says the money spent on the advertising campaign hasn’t helped family farmers while it has enriched large agri-businesses. Missouri Pork Producers Executive Vice President Don Nikodim argues that the check-off has helped. He points out more pork is being sold now than ever. And though he concedes hog prices have fallen, he says they would have fallen even more if not for the programs funded by the check-off. Nikodim and Perry do agree on one thing. They both believe the court’s decision will be appealed.
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