Founded in 1954 as a 501©3, in 1970 the National Pork Producers Council became a 501©5, a trade association that is allowed to lobby. In 1986, the NPPC became the national recipient of pork checkoff funds. Pork checkoff funds are a tax of $0.40 of every $100 of pork product sold in the United States. The NPPC grossed $15,891,160 in 2018. They allocate these funds to “enhance opportunities for the success of the US pork industry by affecting laws and regulations”, despite the wishes of many farmers. In 2000, hog farmers voted to eliminate the checkoff program, but Secratary of Agriculture Ann Veneman voided the results. A Supreme Court decision in 2005 made participation in checkoff programs mandatory.
The NPPC was responsible for the EPA’s rollback on disclosing information on factory farms. In 1999 and 2000, the EPA collected data about water and air quality, and other environmental risks surrounding pig farms. The NPPC sued the EPA to keep information about factory hog farms unavailable from FOIA requests and won.