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Iowa Moves to Boost Small-Scale Poultry Processing

Iowa Moves to Boost Small-Scale Poultry Processing

By Andi Anderson

In a significant step toward supporting local agriculture and enhancing food systems within the state, the Iowa House of Representatives recently passed legislation aimed at expanding small-scale poultry processing.

This move, praised by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, is seen as a crucial development for poultry producers in Iowa, particularly those who sell directly to consumers and have been facing challenges in finding local processing options.

The legislation, known as House File 2257, alongside its companion Senate File 2207, seeks to address the limitation imposed by the absence of a provision in the Poultry Products Inspection Act that currently restricts poultry processors to either official or custom processing but not both.

This restriction has placed Iowa poultry producers at a disadvantage, often necessitating out-of-state travel for processing needs.

The proposed bill, endorsed by Secretary Naig, aims to bring parity to poultry processing standards by aligning them with those already established for red meat processing under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. 

This change is expected to not only increase processing capacity within Iowa but also maintain food safety standards, offering a significant boost to the state's poultry sector.

Secretary Naig’s advocacy extends beyond state legislation; he plans to petition the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to reconsider federal law interpretations that currently limit processing flexibility.

This legislative effort, coupled with the requested federal reassessment, represents a comprehensive approach to enhancing Iowa's agricultural landscape by supporting its poultry producers.

The passage of this bill by the Iowa House has been met with bipartisan support, reflecting a collective commitment to the agricultural community and the broader goal of achieving state self-sufficiency in food production.

The initiative now awaits further action by the Iowa Senate, with the hope that it will soon be enacted into law, marking a significant milestone for Iowa's agricultural sector.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-branex 

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Categories: Iowa, Government & Policy, Livestock, Poultry

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