WASHINGTON, D.C. – At today’s Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee Hearing entitled, “Country of Origin Labeling and Trade Retaliation: What’s at state for America’s Farmers, Ranchers, Businesses and Consumers,” U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced Iowa Farm Bureau President Mr. Craig Hill of Milo, Iowa, who testified on the impact and implications of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) ruling. The Iowa Senator also highlighted the significant effect of the WTO ruling could have on Iowa as the nation’s leader in hog production.

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SENATOR ERNST: Mr. Chairman, and thank you Ranking Member, I appreciate this, time to give a great introduction to a great Iowan, so thank you to all of our witnesses here today.  But I would like to take this time and introduce Mr. Craig Hill. The World Trade Organization’s ruling regarding the Country of Origin Labeling dispute between the United States, Canada, and Mexico is an important issue that could have a major impact on the U.S. economy and on Iowa in particular. Iowa is home to over 20 million hogs, that’s nearly 6 hogs for every person residing in Iowa. Our annual pork sales lead the nation, surpassing the next two states combined. Additionally, our state boasts almost four million cattle and calves on feed, scattered across 88 thousand farms in the state. Almost all of which are family owned. Consequently Iowa is home to a robust meat packaging industry to support all of this production. Today it is my great pleasure to introduce one of the leaders of our thriving agriculture industry. Mr. Craig Hill is a grain and livestock farmer from Milo, Iowa and since 2011 has served as president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. As president, Craig serves as chairman of the board of FBL Financial Group Incorporated, a Farm Bureau Life Companies. Additionally he serves on the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Throughout his years with the Farm Bureau, Craig has been involved in a variety of projects, he was instrumental in the development of revenue assurance, a revenue based crop insurance program for corn and soybean farmers. He served as the first chairman of the Iowa Ag State Group, which consists of representatives from all sectors of Iowa’s agriculture. Craig is on the board of directors for the Cultivation Corridor project, which works to enhance the Ag Bioscience Economic opportunities in Iowa. He is also on the board of trustees of the Council of Agricultural Science and Technology. In addition to his successes in farm and business circles, he and his wife Patty have two children. We are excited to have someone with his depth of knowledge and range of experience in the ag industry with us here today. And Craig, it’s really great to see you again – it’s always good to have you here. I appreciate having an Iowan on the panel with the type of knowledge and expertise that you do. So thank you Craig very much for being here with us today. 

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