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Lack of inspection funds limits Mo. processing growth: report

From an article in MeatingPlace By Peter Thomas Ricci on 6/20/2024

A lack of state funds from the Missouri state government is holding back local meat processors.

According to statements that Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn made to Brownfield, seven processors are currently seeking state inspection, while “at least” eight have filed requests for Cooperative Interstate Shipping approval; however, four new state inspectors are needed for the additional workflow, and state lawmakers denied the funding for the inspectors.

USDA reimbursements also play a role. Chinn explained that USDA has historically reimbursed state inspection costs by 50%, but since fiscal year 2022, that reimbursement has fallen, and the state has needed to cover an additional $500,000 in expenses.

Currently, Missouri’s agriculture department has spending authority, but not the necessary funds for the inspectors.

Chinn added that Missouri’s meat production in 2023 was 3.2 million pounds of red meat and 850,000 pounds of poultry, and without the additional inspectors, production in 2024 will be flat.

Link to article: HERE