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Former Ag Secretary John Block –

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I grew up showing pigs at the Knox County 4-H show. The first talk I gave at my 4-H Club when I was 10 years old was: “What I Feed My Pig.” As a pig farmer, I have paid money to the pork industry “check off’ program. That money has helped fund the most successful industry advertising campaign ever. “Pork: The Other White Meat.” I was always very satisfied to know that a tiny amount of my money, when my pigs were sold, would be combined with money from other producers to help the pork industry.
Suddenly, out of the blue, the Humane Society of the U.S. files a lawsuit attacking the USDA, the Pork Board, and the national Pork Producers Council.

Here is the way it works. USDA collects the “check off” money. The Pork Board got the money to buy the “Other White meat” slogan from the national Pork Producers Council at a price of $60 million in 2006. This was all approved by USDA and their lawyers.
Is $60 million the right price or not? That slogan has sold a lot of bacon.

In simple, uncomplicated language, the money came from pork producers like myself. And it has been used to help the pork industry – advertising the “Other White Meat.” This promotion has helped educate millions of people.

What does the Humane Society of the U.S. have to do with any of this? Well, first of all, they have millions of dollars given to them with the assumption that it is used to help shelter animals in your town and mine. Not true. Less than 1% of their money is used to support animal shelters. They use their money to attack animal agriculture from every angle. They don’t want us to eat meat. They want federal laws to dictate to pig farmers, chicken farmers, cattle farmers, how our animals are to be raised and cared for.

The ag industry has no choice but to stand up to an organization like this.

If they succeed in their effort, much of our pork, beef, and eggs will be shipped into the U.S. from Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean. Family farms will be forced out of business. Only the big corporations will be able to meet the regulatory demands.

This is a serious, unjustified attack on farmers and ranchers.

In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.