Ag News: Mobile Meat Inspection and USTR Ag Trade Negotiator Delay
**Ranchers who sell meat directly to customers continue to struggle with where to take their animals for processing, as packing plants are often booked solid.
New federally inspected mobile operations are coming online to help, including one that opened in March.
Starting in 2022, a new law will also allow ranchers who sell whole animals directly to customers to use mobile operations exempt from federal inspections to process animals on the farm.
**A CoBank report shows animal agriculture needs trade negotiators at the table to build export markets.
The report says the recent nomination of a chief ag negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is an important step forward, but Elaine Trevino has yet to be confirmed.
U.S. animal protein exports have nearly tripled in the past two decades.
Today, trade accounts for 10-30% of U.S. animal protein production.
**The USDA announced $20 million in pandemic assistance to cover certification and education expenses to certified organic producers or those transitioning to organic.
Certified and transitional operations may apply for funding for eligible expenses paid during the 2020, ‘21 and ‘22 fiscal years.
For each year, the program covers 25% of a certified operation’s eligible certification expenses, up to $250.
Crop and livestock operations may be eligible for 75% of eligible certification and transitional expenses, up to $750.