With Looming Food Shortages, New Wyoming Law Bypasses USDA Regulations to Let Ranchers Sell Meat Directly to Consumers
Vic Bishop, Staff Writer
By now, most Americans are beginning to realize that the next phase of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis is likely to include severe shortages of food, especially protein. American farmers are being crunched by a shutdown economy, and meat processing plants are shutting down due to the spread of this infectious disease. To make matters worse, the government is forcing many producers to destroy their harvests, so as not to violate USDA guidelines.
This Texas rancher describes this unfolding scenario in the following video:
Sadly, the American economy is built in such a way that government regulations, red tape, and rigid supply lines make it difficult for food producers to quickly adapt to changing markets in times like these.
Typically, farmers and ranchers are not allowed to sell their animals or produce directly to the public, and when processing facilities are shut down, the law requires producers to destroy their products, not even allowing them to give food away. Without meat processors, ranchers can’t sell their livestock, and without the income from livestock sales, ranchers cannot afford to keep their livestock.
“A slow-down at processing facilities can cause temporary ripple effects forward and backward along the food supply chain. Retailers may struggle to stock meat products; consumers might see higher prices at check-out; and with limited space and cashflow, producers could have to cull livestock if they cannot find a processor to take the animals when they are ready for market.” [Source]
Many farmers are concerned citizens are reporting on food being dumped and disposed of, just at a time when we need it the most.
Fortunately, there is good news, as it appears that at some levels government is beginning to work on resolving this problem in order to attempt to avert catastrophe. President Trump is planning to invoke The Defense Production Act, forcing meat processors to stay open.
In March, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed HB0155 which allows ranchers to circumvent USDA procedures and sell meat directly to consumers.
“The amendment to the state’s Food Freedom Act will go into effect in July and takes advantage of an exemption created under § 623(a) of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA), which governs interstate and even mostintrastate livestock slaughter and meat sales in this country. The FMIA exemption allows custom slaughtering of livestock by and for an “owner” of the animal.” [Source]
The law is actually part of an ‘animal-share’ agreement which lets some ranchers avoid standard regulations by allowing consumers to ‘own’ part of the herd. Instead of buying meat from a rancher, the consumer effectively by interests in the ranchers herd, which lets them bypass rules regarding processing and packaging.
“The amendment states an “animal share” is “an ownership interest in an animal or herd of animals created by a written contract between an informed end consumer and a farmer or rancher that includes a bill of sale to the consumer for an ownership interest in the animal or herd and a boarding provision under which the consumer boards the animal or herd with the farmer or rancher for care and processing and the consumer is entitled to receive a share of meat from the animal or herd.”
“The idea for the bill is simple,” said Rep. Tyler Lindholm (WY-R-1), who also serves on the board of the nonprofit Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. “Let ranchers and farmers sell herd shares for their animals. That way, the entire herd is ‘owned’ by all of the customers before slaughter, thereby meeting the exemption standards of the federal law. Now the rancher does not have to jump through the hoops of FMIA and can utilize the smaller mom and pop butchers that still [exist] in most of our small towns.””
As we move into the next part of this massive crisis, it’s interesting to note how laws and government regulations actually make it more difficult for people to survive. And if food producers are having to destroy millions of pounds of food and dump hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk just because the rulebook says so, we desperately need a change. And if we don’t do something now, we are looking at a serious catastrophe in the making.
“We can feed the world ourselves, and yet we’re destroying our harvests!” [Source]
About the Author
Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.
This article (With Looming Food Shortages, New Wyoming Law Bypasses USDA Regulations to Let Ranchers Sell Meat Directly to Consumers) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio and internal links.