Beef Buzz News
Cong. Lucas Introduces Legislation To Expand Federal Meat Inspection For Smaller Processing Plants
Mon, 06 Jul 2020 09:22:57 CDT
U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-3) and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (MN-07) have introduced legislation to provide money for meat inspectors for small and medium size plants. Cong. Lucas recently talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about the legislation referred to as Requiring Assistance to Meat Processors for Upgrading Plants (RAMP-UP) Act.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes With Cong. Lucas
The legislation would establish a program to make facility upgrades and planning grants to existing meat and poultry processors to help them move to Federal inspection.
In the aftermath of what the livestock industry has gone through because of COVID-19, it became obvious that we needed to make sure we had more diversity in the meat processing industry, Lucas said.
State inspection is just as good as federal inspection but if you want to cross state lines you need the USDA stamp, Lucas said.
The legislation includes $80 million in mandatory money plus an additional $20 million in appropriated funds.
Cong. Lucas said it would provide $100,000 per location to upgrade facilities to meet federal standards.
This (program) gives them the opportunity to make that improvement, he said.
He noted there are safeguards in the bill, to ensure they jump to that next level of federal standards.
The money is a grant, so it doesnít have to be paid back, Lucas said, if they upgrade within 36 months.
The Oklahoma congressman said he is optimistic the legislation will pass.
We have the most focused group of consumers right now as they are concerned about food supply and safety, Lucas said.
I would think anybody who is running for President would want to sign this bill, Lucas said.
This is a is a small investment for the amount of good it will do, he said.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more of Ronís interview with Cong. Frank Lucas.
The Beef buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for todayís show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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