A new initiative that would localize meat inspections, meat consumers in the state of Oregon should have easier access to a greater variety of locally produced goods, including beef and other items, at more affordable costs.
Because of this program, the state’s capacity for processing meat will increase, and the Oregon Department of Agriculture will be able to examine all of the meat produced and sold within the state. In the past, such inspections could only be carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture.
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There are 13 USDA facilities in Oregon, but all are scheduled years in advance.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on July 28 granted permission to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to begin its testing program under the condition that the criteria meet or exceed those of the federal agency.
Because of this development, Oregon is now one of the 28 states with a program for inspecting meat, and it is the first state on the West Coast to establish such a program. State Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, both Democrats, have claimed that they exerted pressure on United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for several months to grant the request for the program.
Merkley hailed it as a victory for farmers and Oregon residents forced to contend with skyrocketing prices for meat.
Senator Merkley states, “This approval will assist Oregon farmers and ranchers in locally processing their livestock to offer cheap food.”
There are 12,000 cattle ranchers in Oregon. In 2019, they exported products made from beef and veal worth $90 million, according to the figures provided by the state Agriculture Department and the federal government.
According to Todd Nash, president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, ranchers were left with limited options during the epidemic for slaughtering and processing their cattle. This left ranchers in a difficult position.
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