Oklahoma’s Beef Task Force

A limited number of beef processing plants in Oklahoma is adding to the financial pressure. The state’s ag department has partnered with state cattle groups to find new opportunities for the beef industry.

Oklahoma’s task force discovers the state’s current slaughter capacity is only 800 head of cattle a week. John Pfeiffer, an Oklahoma rancher, states, “And that is the correct number. We have like 500 plants, but lots of little custom plants, but we have no major cow slaughter plants in the state.” A shortage of inspectors could keep plants from meeting federal guidelines.

“We have also been able to identify that we have some problems with inspections. We have some plants that would like to increase their kill rate, but they can’t because we don’t have inspectors,” Pfeiffer states. To meet the state’s processing plant needs, the task force explores options through state legislation. “The big push I think that we are going to try to work on, especially in the legislative session, is more inspectors for the Department of Ag to go out and do this,” Pfeiffer adds.