Senator Roger Marshall introduces legislation to support livestock producers


Lance Cheung

Kansas Senator Roger Marshall introduced legislation today, along with Senator Peter Welch of Vermont, that would allow livestock and poultry producers to have better access to consumers nationwide.

Currently, the producers are not able to sell their meat and poultry across state lines unless it was processed at a USDA-inspected facility. The legislation, Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transaction Act, creates an exemption to allow butchers and small producers more flexibility for interstate sales without putting food safety in jeopardy.

“During the pandemic, we saw first-hand the resiliency challenges of our food sector - millions of people stopped going to restaurants and started looking to cattle producers to source their beef directly from the farm. Unfortunately, the number of USDA-inspected facilities needed to meet consumer demand was lacking. The DIRECT Act creates a small and simple exemption to allow state-inspected butchers to sell meat and poultry online directly to a household consumer. If Kansans can buy meat directly from my butcher, my butcher should be able to sell their meat to consumers out-of-state as well,” said Senator Marshall.

NCBA’s President-Elect and Wyoming cattle producer says his association supports the legislation.

“American consumers are buying beef in new ways, whether it is directly from local farms and ranches or online through e-commerce. The DIRECT Act allows smaller processors to sell beef in different and innovative ways, supporting cattle producers while also ensuring the safety of our product. NCBA is proud to support the DIRECT Act and we thank Sens. Marshall and Welch for their efforts to strengthen the cattle and beef industry.”

American Farm Bureau also applauds the bill.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for improvements to America’s robust food supply chain. We appreciate Senators Marshall and Welch for their work on the DIRECT Act, which will provide America’s families with more options in where they buy their meat while creating new opportunities for farmers and ranchers to reach new customers,” said Zippy Duvall.