New Program Announced to Help Small Iowa Meat Processors Sell Out of State

PELLA, Iowa -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced a new program on Friday that would allow small Iowa meat and poultry processors to sell their products outside of the state.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship applied for what is called a Cooperative Interstate Shipment agreement with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Naig said for meat and poultry processors to sell out of state, they would need to have federal inspections, but under this program they’d only need to be inspected by the state. This program is something this portion of the industry requested.

"It was something that we then investigated at the Department of Ag. to see what could be done and we found that we could pursue a program with the USDA to allow this to happen. So I think this is a great example of where we heard from the industry, we responded and now we are headed in a direction that allows them to grow their businesses," said Naig.

According to a news release, “State-inspected meat processors are smaller than their federally-inspected counterparts but are held to equal standards.”

Naig said to qualify for the program, a meat processor must have fewer than 25 full-time employees and comply with all federal food safety, sanitation and facility regulations.

Jerry Roorda’s business, In’t Veld’s Meat Market, is just one of 68 eligible meat and poultry processors that could be selling their products outside of Iowa next year.

“People have told me all of my life that I’m full of bologna. Now I’ve made a business out of that,” Roorda said.

He said In’t Veld’s is famous for, “the bologna and our summer sausage has won state competitions, in state fair competitions, our dried beef. We were grand champions for dried beef this year at the Iowa Meat Processors Convention. Our sticks, our jerky.”

Roorda said this type of program is something they have been wanting to be a part of.

“It just opens up a whole gamut of stuff that we can now distribute, whereas before we were locked into the borders of Iowa,” Roorda said.

Not only will In’t Veld’s be growing their business beyond state lines, they are also expanding their store right here in Iowa.

“We bought the building next door. We are going to expand our deli and into a restaurant next door. Tune in next year probably for that,” Roorda said

Naig said eligible processors should be able to sell to other states sometime next year.

Once the application process is complete, Iowa will be the sixth state in the nation to have this type of program.

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