The Arkansas Division of Agriculture introduced that JACO Meats in Hope, and the Arkansas State College (ASU) Meat Market in Jonesboro, are the primary two services licensed by the Arkansas Meat Inspection Program.

The Arkansas Meat Inspection Program was licensed by Act 418 in the course of the 2021 Common Session of the Arkansas Basic Meeting and was finalized by a cooperative settlement with the U.S. Division of Agriculture’s (USDA) Meals Security and Inspection Service (FSIS). This system permits the Division to examine meat merchandise for cargo inside Arkansas.

“The institution of state-inspected processing services at JACO Meats and the ASU Meat Market is nice information for Arkansas customers and the state’s agriculture trade,” stated Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “We’re hopeful that this program will proceed to increase and enhance the provision of locally-sourced meat and meat merchandise for Arkansans.”

Arkansas is considered one of 28 states taking part in FSIS’s State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) applications. These applications permit state inspectors to make sure program enforcement and regulatory compliance in small institutions working inside the state. The MPI applications should develop, administer, and implement necessities “no less than equal to” these set forth within the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA).

The necessity for added meat processing capability was highlighted by meals provide chain disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Division labored with the Arkansas legislature and trade stakeholders to obtain and distribute $10.4 million from the Coronavirus Help, Reduction, and Financial Safety (CARES) Act for the Arkansas Meat and Poultry Processing Grant Program. JACO Meats and the ASU Meat Market obtained funding by the Arkansas Meat and Poultry Processing Grant Program in 2020.

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