Meat & Livestock News

NASDA Advocates for Renewed Federal Support to Sustain State Meat and Poultry Inspection Programs


  • NASDA calls for Congress and USDA to ensure full federal cost-share for state meat and poultry inspection programs.
  • Recent funding shortfalls threaten the resilience of state inspection services, which are crucial for small to medium-sized processors.
  • 29 states currently operate under this program, with a push for increased federal appropriations to support these essential services.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has recently emphasised the importance of federal support for state meat and poultry inspection programs. During the 2024 Winter Policy Conference held on February 7th, NASDA passed a resolution urging for the resumption of full federal cost-sharing to sustain these crucial state programs.

Blayne Arthur, NASDA president and Oklahoma agriculture secretary, highlighted the vital role of state meat inspection programs in supporting the meat processing industry and livestock sector.

Arthur pointed out that consistent and reliable funding is essential for the continuation and expansion of these services, which are necessary for meat processors in many states. The recent decrease in funding has posed significant challenges to the resilience of state programs, necessitating immediate action.

Historically, the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has partnered with states through a cooperative agreement model, providing up to a 50% funding match as required under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.

However, states have experienced a reduction in funds recently. NASDA’s action item urges Congress to mandate that FSIS provide at least a 50% funding match to state departments of agriculture and calls for an increase in federal appropriations to FSIS. This increase would ensure that the agency can adequately support state programs, which are instrumental in helping small to medium-sized processors comply with federal and state food safety regulations.

Currently, 29 state departments of agriculture operate these inspection programs, which have been pivotal in supporting independent meat and poultry processors.

The surge in state-inspected slaughter establishments has been facilitated through federal and state government funding. Nevertheless, the recent cutback in federal support threatens the provision of state services that are critical for the industry, particularly for smaller processors aiming to meet stringent safety standards.

In summary, NASDA’s advocacy for federal support underscores the importance of state meat and poultry inspection programs in maintaining food safety standards and supporting the agricultural sector. The call for resumed full federal cost-sharing reflects the need for a collaborative effort between Congress, USDA, and state departments to ensure the sustainability and expansion of these essential services.