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‘Product of the USA’ labeling process to undergo thorough review

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 7:39 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Thursday was an exciting day for young people in agriculture from our area. It started at the final session of the 92nd Wisconsin FFA Convention in Madison yesterday morning. That’s when Ben Styer of the Menomonie FFA chapter was chosen as the next president of the Wisconsin FFA. Ben will be just the second ever state president from Menomonie. The other one was Reid Goodell who was state president in 1939 and “40.

The excitement continued last night with the meat animal auction at the Northern Wisconsin State fair in Chippewa Falls. The auction brought high prices for all 3 species but the hogs set records. The grand champion hog, shown by Hunter Hilger of Bloomer, set a new sale record of $17.50 a pound as Woodland farms outbid all other buyers. But right behind that hog came the reserve champion, shown by Avery Michels of Chippewa Falls. When auctioneer Travis Parr wrapped up the bidding, there was a new record--$18 a pound. The successful bidder was Korger’s Decorating of Chippewa Falls.

Correct and honest labeling of food products in this country, particularly meat products, has always been a challenge. But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the USDA and the Federal Trade Commission will be conducting a top to bottom review of the voluntary “Product of the USA” label. Farm groups like the National farmers Union have continually expressed their concern that the labels were being misused. They cite examples of beef and pork that were born, raised and slaughtered in other countries and then shipped to the U.S. for processing have long carried the label “Product of the USA”. They want the labels only used on products that have never spent time outside the United States.

The payments going to farmers under the second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program continue to go out. As of the first week in July those payments had reached 13.75 billion dollars. The biggest checks, totaling 3.45 billion dollars, have gone to livestock producers with another 2.74 billion going for sales commodities, 1.22 billion for dairy and almost $64 million to the poultry industry. Payments under the first CFAP program have now reached nearly $10.6 billion.

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