For Immediate Release: May 20, 2020

Contact: R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard

Phone: 406-252-2516;


Billings, Mont. – In mid-March R-CALF USA sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging seven specific actions to combat the COVID-19 crisis for American ranchers and American consumers.  Included in those actions was the request to eliminate the red tape that prevents state-inspected beef plants from selling beef across state lines. The group stated this action was needed to increase competition for domestic cattle and eliminate the current bottleneck in beef distribution to consumers.

Today, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued a news release revealing that Iowa had finalized a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to provide state-inspected meat and poultry processors in Iowa the opportunity to sell their products across state lines.

The Iowa news release states that State-inspected meat plants, while smaller than their federally-inspected counterparts are nevertheless held to equal standards.

R-CALF USA encourages all states to immediately begin applying for the CIS program administered by the FSIS so they too can begin alleviating the serious bottleneck that has occurred in the beef supply chain, a bottleneck marked by the hundreds of thousands of slaughter-ready cattle that are sitting in U.S. feedlots with no market to sell into.

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said the cattle industry is in a race with the clock to utilize all available resources to begin easing the live cattle bottleneck, including giving State-inspected meat plants the ability to expand their marketing reach.

“We applaud both the USDA and the state of Iowa for acting swiftly to help meet the U.S. cattle industry’s serious challenge as well as to help ensure that all Americans can access the best beef in the world, which is beef produced by American ranchers,” Bullard said.

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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only lobbying and trade association representing U.S. cattle producers. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. Visit or, call 406-252-2516 for more information.