COLUMBUS — Small-scale, state-licensed meat processors can breathe a sigh of relief, following a long-awaited U.S. Department of Agriculture decision to allow them to sell across state lines.
The ruling establishes a new voluntary cooperative interstate shipment program, designed to allow greater market potential for these smaller producers.
The policy has been a top issue in Ohio since at least 1997, when former state agriculture director Fred Dailey pushed for interstate marketing among small processors.
It gained additional momentum in the 2008 farm bill, when U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, inserted an amendment that allows state-inspected meats to be transported across state lines on the condition there is federal oversight of the plants.
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