History and Information:
1/7/19 This is an ongoing attempt to improve access to local meats for consumers, and profits for small farmers. There is a lot of reading here, but interesting if you are a locavore! Grab a cup of tea, put your feet up and read on…
5/18/18 The Massie Amendment No. 29 ( which would give states the freedom to permit the intra-state distribution of custom-slaughtered meat) has not been included in the Farm Bill this year. It was not even brought forward for a vote. The HR2657 (the “Prime Act”) is still “alive” as a free standing bill which still needs more Co Sponsors, so you can still ask your Representative to do that.
Why do we need the “Prime”Act?
Would you like more availability of locally produced meats.
Would you like to help increase local meat processing options for small farmers and help grow a more prosperous local food system?
The scarcity of small-scale slaughterhouses is one of the biggest barriers to farmers’ ability to produce, and consumers’ ability to buy, locally raised meat. Many farmers have to haul their animals several hours to get to a processor, increasing costs and creating stress for the animals – and for some, it’s just not feasible. Some farmers have to make reservations with slaughterhouses up to a year or more in advance, making accurate business planning nearly impossible.
VICFA, as well as Weston A. Price Foundation and Farm to Consumer Legal Defence Fund, is supporting a federal bill, H.R. 2657. The “Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption” (PRIME) Act, is sponsored by Rep Thomas Massie KY04.
This bill would tackle the scarcity of small-scale slaughterhouses by allowing the sale of meat by the individual cut from “custom” slaughterhouses. Currently, meat can only be sold by the individual cut if it is from an animal slaughtered and processed at a federal or state inspected facility.The best chance for passing H.R. 2657 is to include it in the Farm Bill — and the House Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture members will be among the first to have a say in what gets into the Farm Bill and what is left out on livestock-related issues.
Problems with the current system:
Many farmers have a custom slaughterhouse much closer than a federal or state-inspected facility. But under the current law, if the animal is processed at a custom facility, the meat can only go to the individual or individuals who owned the animal at the time the slaughter took place. This means that the customer(s) must buy the whole animal while it is still alive, effectively purchasing hundreds of pounds of meat without knowing the final weight or price per pound. Not many people can or want to do this! The current law makes it difficult for farmers to meet the demand for locally produced meat.
The following Representatives are on the House Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee ( by state):
1/7/19: the following list needs to be checked and updated…
Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) (202) 225-3341
Rep. Jim Coster (CA-16) – Ranking Member (202) 225-3341
Rep. Scott Desjarlais (TN-4) (202) 225-6831
Rep. Dwight Evans (PA-2); (202) 225-4001
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-6); (202) 225-5431(No longer there but not sure who has taken his place.. to be updated)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-4); (202) 225-2876
Rep. Trent Kelly (MS-01); (202) 225-4306
Rep. Steve King (IA-4); (202) 225-4426
Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-1); (202) 225-2715
Rep. Stacey Plaskett (VI-At Large); (202) 225-1790
Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7) – Chair; (202) 225-2731
Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34); (202) 225-9901
Rep. Ted Yoho (FL-3), (202) 225-5744
Please share this information with friends in other states to help get as much support as possible for H.R. 2657
As a constituent, I urge Representative ____ to co-sponsor H.R. 2657, the PRIME Act.
This important bill will make it easier for small farms and ranches to succeed financially and provide consumers with greater access to locally raised meats. The bill simply removes the federal ban on the sale of meat from custom slaughterhouses directly to consumers and venues serving consumers within a state, subject to state law. This returns power to the states to establish a regulatory scheme that makes sense for their citizens.
The PRIME Act is the first step to rebuilding local processing infrastructure, which can revive rural economies and enable communities to become more self-sufficient in meat production.
Please support our local farmers and consumer choice by co-sponsoring H.R. 2657.
VICFA would like to thank Weston A. Price for graciously sharing content that we have included on this page. Weston A. PrIce Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer based organisation that promotes and supports traditional nutrient dense foods and farming methods.