Oregon is launching its own meat inspection program, which is expected to expedite meat distribution across the state.
Oregon’s State Meat Inspection Program is aimed at small businesses the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not have capacity for. It will approve facilities to distribute products. Rusty Rock is the Program Director for Food Safety at Oregon’s Department of Agriculture, which is running the project.
“We have the capability and the desire to bring along the smaller facilities and offer that one-on-one point of contact that was really missing.”
Rock said farmers will be able to work with new, nearby processing partners, bolstering local economies and reducing transportation emissions.
The program is approved by the USDA and must comply with federal regulations. It received $2 million from the state legislature. Rock said a timeline is uncertain, as the department needs to train new inspectors.