The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) today commended U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on his decision to purchase up to $50 million of pork products, to be used for various federal food assistance programs. The purchase will help pork producers who have been mired in a two-year-long economic crisis.

“The action by USDA to buy additional pork will benefit America’s pork producers, the U.S. economy and the people who rely on government food programs,” says NPPC President Don Butler. “NPPC is extremely grateful to Secretary Vilsack for recognizing the plight of our producers and for taking action to help them. The pork purchase is an important step that will help our industry bring pork supply and demand back into balance and allow producers to continue providing consumers worldwide with economical, nutritious pork products.”

This pork purchase is the third supplemental purchase this year. In March, USDA agreed to buy $25 million of pork and in early September USDA bought $30 million.

NPPC also thanked Congress for its efforts to encourage pork purchases by USDA.

“The support U.S. pork producers have received from Secretary Vilsack and many members of Congress has been tremendous and very much appreciated,” says NPPC CEO Neil Dierks. “And this latest purchase of pork should provide some relief to our industry and to rural America.”