Congressman Frank Lucas Offers Legislation to RAMP-UP Federal Incentives for Small Meat ProcessorsFri, 03 Jul 2020 13:27:45 CDT
Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas is a principle sponsor on what is being called the RAMP-UP Act, the Requiring Assistance to Meat Processors for Upgrading Plants Act, which provides federal incentives to improve beef processing capacity. The cattle industry is pleased with the proposal- and has quickly offered their reaction.
Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association\s Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey says “OCA is strongly supportive of enhancing local, state and regional beef packing and processing plants to bring more opportunities for beef cattle ranchers to market their cattle. Our joint task force with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) identified early on the challenges that many smaller plants have in becoming federally inspected. The RAMP-UP Act will provide much needed grant funding to local Oklahoma beef processing facilities assisting them to become federally inspected if they desire. We thank Congressman Lucas for his leadership in introducing this important legislation!”
OCA is affiliated with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and they are also pleased.
“The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruptions to beef processing which were devastating to cattle producers,” said NCBA Vice President and Minnesota Cattlemen’s Association past president Don Schiefelbein. “The RAMP UP Act addresses these supply chain issues by ensuring cattle ranchers and farmers have robust access to new markets regardless of where their livestock is processed. We are grateful to Chairman Peterson and Rep. Lucas for their leadership and attention to this critical issue.”
The RAMP UP Act authorizes federal grants up to $100,000 for existing meat processors to become federally inspected. Currently, state inspected and custom exempt processors cannot sell meat in interstate commerce and the process to become compliant with, and inspected by, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is expensive and daunting. If enacted, the RAMP UP Act would ease this burden on processors and benefit cattle producers by opening new markets for the beef they produce. CLICK ON THE PDF LINK BELOW to see the highlights of the measure.
“Right now, America’s meat producers and processors are facing unprecedented market challenges. At a time when producers are experiencing increased demand for high-quality meat, meat processors across the United States are racing to increase their capacity to meet the demands of consumers and producers,” said Congressman Lucas. “The RAMP-UP Act gives processors the tools to become federally inspected facilities, which widens their customer base while maintaining strong inspection standards. I’m proud to join my friend and Agriculture Committee Chairman, Congressman Collin Peterson in expanding the opportunities for not only Oklahoma’s processing facilities but meat processors across the United States.”
This proposal to help meat processing facilities also has received two thumbs up from Oklahoma Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur- “The livestock and processing sectors faced severe impacts amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. The RAMP-UP Act addresses some of the most urgent needs, and I am grateful that it reflects the feedback I heard from state agricultural leaders across the country. Now is the time to act swiftly on the evolution of the processing industry."
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