Moran and Johnson hail USDA’s investment in small meat packing plants

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) and U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) have expressed support for a July 9 announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement the legislation that they sponsored to reduce overtime inspection costs for small meat packers.

As part of USDA’s plan to invest $ 500 million in US bailout funds to expand meat and poultry processing capacity, the department announced it will invest more than $ 150 million. dollars for existing small and very small processing facilities to help them overcome COVID-19, compete in the market and get the support they need to reach more customers, the USDA said on Friday.

Senator Moran and Representative Johnson introduced the bipartisan Overtime and Vacation Fees Act for Small Packers for the COVID-19 Act of 2020, HR 6977 / S last year. 3797, which included such provisions and was passed by Congress as part of the US bailout. US Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and US Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) joined lawmakers to introduce the bills as co-sponsors.

By implementing its legislation, the USDA will support small meat-packing plants that operated longer during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to process large numbers of livestock to meet increased consumer demand for cultivated meat products. locally, according to lawmakers.

“I am delighted that the USDA is implementing our legislation to remove prohibitive cost barriers so our small packers can continue to work, ranchers can harvest their livestock, and Americans have access to quality feed,” Senator Moran said.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that the USDA is implementing the Small Packers Overtime and Vacation Fees Act for COVID-19 at $ 100 million,” Representative Johnson added in a separate statement. “These USDA announcements are much needed and frankly expected for our beef producers.”

Representative Johnson also said that “producers and congressmen across the breeding country have been pushing diligently for a level playing field for small processors to diversify market options outside of the big four for a long time. Today’s announcements may not be the silver bullet to solve all of our problems, but they will certainly take us one step closer to a fairer livestock market.

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