Billings, Mont., Nov. 9, 2023 | Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is clarifying that the domestic origin requirements for meat purchased by the agency for nutrition assistance programs must be from animals that are born, raised and slaughtered in the United States.
According to the agency’s announcement, the AMS purchased $800 million worth of meat products in 2022 for nutrition assistance programs. Included in that are purchases of $505.9 million of beef in fiscal year 2023.
“We applaud the new origin standards for federal meat procurement announced today by AMS,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard adding, “Our members have advocated for this important change for years on the basis that when the federal government buys meat with taxpayer dollars, it is domestic cattle and sheep producers who should benefit from those purchases.”
Vilsack’s announcement extolls another benefit of purchasing meat that is exclusively born, raised and slaughtered in the United States. He stated that nutrition assistance program recipients will benefit by receiving domestically produced meat products.
Bullard said that while today’s announcement is a huge win for domestic cattle and sheep producers, his organization will continue advocating for the expansion of this origin standards for all federally procured meat, including meat procured by the U.S. Department of Defense.
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Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) is the largest producer-only lobbying and trade association representing U.S. cattle producers. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle and sheep industries. Visit www.r-calfusa.com or call (406) 252-2516 for more information.