The National Corn Growers Association has stepped forward in support of the U.S. pork industry and Arizona farmers and ranchers this week. NCGA officials oppose a proposed ballot initiative that is underway in Arizona that, if it passes, would outlaw gestation-sow stalls for pork and stall housing systems for veal producers.

In supporting the Arizona livestock producers, NCGA’s Corn Board released this statement: “NCGA supports the efforts of the U.S. Pork industry and the Campaign for Arizona Farmers and Ranchers to vigorously oppose an Arizona ballot initiative that would criminalize the use of gestation stalls in sow housing and prevent the future use of stalls by veal producers. NCGA supports Arizona’s farmers and ranchers utilizing management techniques based on decades of research, science and real-world experience.”

The initiative in question is called the Humane Treatment of Farm Animals Act. It needs 123,000 valid signatures by July 6 to put the measure on the November 2006 ballot. If passed, the law would take effect in 2012.

“The livestock industry uses more than 55 percent of the corn produced in the United States, and many of our growers raise livestock in addition to corn,” says NCGA President Gerald Tumbelson. “We have a vested interest in making sure our nation’s farmers and ranchers have the capabilities at hand to raise livestock utilizing best-management techniques.”

Fighting the issue on behalf of the state's livestock producers is The Campaign for Arizona Farmers and Ranchers. It is a broad-based coalition representing more than 3,000 farm families. Members include Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, United Dairymen of Arizona and Arizona Pork Council. For more information, visit www.azFarmersRanchers.com.

Source: National Corn Growers Association