First Vice President Mark McHargue of Central City is an independent pork producer, but believes lifting the packer ban is necessary for Nebraska to stay competitive.
“We are the only state that actually doesn’t allow this,” McHargue tells Brownfield Ag News. “We are in a very competitive environment. When we look around the states around us that are growing in production, the one thing that does stand out between us and all the other states that we border is that we do have a moratorium on packers owning hogs.”
McHargue says Nebraska must lift the ban to remain competitive, even among its neighboring states. McHargue notes other states are growing in hog production, while Nebraska lags behind.
“Do I think it’s going to significantly change the face of livestock agriculture in Nebraska? I don’t think so, but I think as an organization we need to make sure that we don’t impede that type of progress from happening if producers want to make a choice to partner up with a packer,” according to McHargue.
The Farm Bureau has pushed for an end to the ban in previous legislative sessions, but has been unable to push the measure through the Unicameral.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this story.