Strengthening Local Processing in the 2023 Farm Bill

A newly-introduced bill in Congress promises to take important steps to address urgent bottlenecks in meat and poultry processing for small-scale livestock producers. This bill will address the disruptions in our local meat supply chain by supporting independent meat processing and slaughter capacity for local livestock and poultry producers, and help consumers access locally raised meat and poultry. 

As Congress drafts the next Farm Bill, it’s essential that it include significant action to strengthen our local food systems, specifically by investing in very small to midsize livestock processors. Supporting the Strengthening Local Processing Act is the first step you can take to ensure the upcoming Farm Bill reinvests in our communities, small and medium livestock processors, and the diverse farmers they serve.

This bill will:  

  • Increase the federal share of costs for state inspection from 50 to 65 percent and for Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) facilities from 60 to 80 percent
  • Authorize $20 million in competitive grants to small and very small establishments, state-inspected facilities, custom-exempt facilities, or new small-scale slaughter facilities for activities related to COVID-19 recovery, infrastructure expansion, and related equipment
  • Authorize a program for colleges and universities to establish or expand meat processing training programs and a new $10 million grant program for small and very small establishments or nongovernmental organizations to offset the cost of training new meat processors.

Help spread the word!

Alongside the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, you can take steps now to ensure the Strengthening Local Processing Act builds as much support as possible in Congress to improve small-scale slaughter and processing options for local livestock and poultry producers in the northeast. Encourage your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Strengthening Local Processing Act today. Call the Congressional switchboard to be connected directly to your Senators and Representative at 202-224-3121.

Photo by Veronica White on Unsplash