Farm Director KC Sheperd is visiting with State Representative Ty Burns about the Oklahoma Certified Meat Program.
The Oklahoma Certified Beef Program was signed into law in 2020, and since, Burns has been working with Representative Jim Grego on adding more proteins into the mix.
“This year, we got across the finish line House Bill 1589, which is Oklahoma Certified Meat,” Burns said. “We added, obviously, bovine, swine, goat, lamb, poultry, and fish products that are born, bred, raised, and processed in the state of Oklahoma that can fit the description for the Oklahoma Certified Meat Program.”
This program, Burns said, will yield numerous benefits for producers in the state of Oklahoma.
“One of the biggest things with the Oklahoma Certified Beef Association- we have really come together and tried to establish a distributing hub and push all of our products in one area,” Burns said. “We obviously want to be commercial. We want restaurants to take this product, promote it and use it as a marketing tool to not only get people in the state to eat the beef but almost have a tourist attraction.”
Now that the Oklahoma Certified Beef Program has taken off, Burns said this presents a great opportunity to market that protein as a state. The Oklahoma Certified Meat Program, Burns added, should yield the same results.
“Phase two is the processing,” Burns said. “Obviously, distribution was an integral part, but still, the processing we know is an issue.”
Burns said he is working to earmark 25 million dollars for a processor to come to Oklahoma and slaughter around 600 head per day. The processor, he added, will be incentivized to process Oklahoma Certified Meats.
“Obviously, we know that is not all they can do, but that 25 million would come from the more Oklahoma Certified products they process, the more incentive money they are going to get,” Burns said.