Legislative alert

Maine Farm Bureau Legislative Action Alert!

ATTEND THE HEARING, CALL STATE REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS!
Please call the legislators on the ACF Committee and your state representative and senator TODAY and tell them:
Save the Maine Meat and Poultry Inspection Program. There MUST be a fix or the USDA will shut down the program.
Maintain Maine’s Brand Quality. Consumers trust that Maine farmers, food producers and businesses provide healthy food using adequate food science knowledge.
Keep the solution simple. Reduce the uncertainty. Keep ‘Maine farmers and businesses producing food for Main[e] Street!’
Public hearing Friday, October 20, 2017 , 9:30 am
Room 214 of the Cross Office Building in Augusta.
MAINE FARMERS NEED YOUR HELP!
Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee of the 128 Legislature:

First Name
Last Name
Phone
E-Mail Address
Paul Davis, Chair (207) 876-4047 Paul.Davis@legislature.maine.gov
Thomas Saviello (207) 645-3420 thomas.saviello@legislature.maine.gov
James Dill (207) 827-3498 James.Dill@legislature.maine.gov
Michelle Dunphy, Chair (207) 827-8989 Michelle.Dunphy@legislature.maine.gov
Roland Martin (207) 543-6165 Danny.Martin@legislature.maine.gov
Margaret O’Neil (207) 590-1679 Margaret.ONeil@legislature.maine.gov
Russell Black (207) 491-4667 Russell.Black@legislature.maine.gov
Carol McElwee (207) 498-8605 Carol.McElwee@legislature.maine.gov
MaryAnne Kinney (207) 568-7577 MaryAnne.Kinney@legislature.maine.gov
Norman Higgins (207) 564-8214 Norman.Higgins@legislature.maine.gov
Thomas Skolfield (207) 585-2638 Thomas.Skolfield@legislature.maine.gov
Ralph Chapman (207) 326-0899 Ralph.Chapman@legislature.maine.gov
Kent Ackley (207) 512-2524 Kent.Ackley@legislature.maine.gov

ALERT Maine farmers and folks they support need your help! ALERT

USDA will shut down Maine’s Meat Inspection Program on November 1, 2017 unless the Legislature fixes the loopholes created when LD 725 was signed into law in June.
In response to the USDA’s threat to terminate the MMPI, LD 1648, was drafted to fix the loophole. However, it adds new policy language allowing the sale of food and food products without adequate quality testing.

More Info About Maine Meat and Poultry Inspection Program (MMPI):
The Maine Meat and Poultry Inspection Program is in jeopardy. This cooperative agreement between the state of Maine and USDA allows Maine farmers, hunters and folks they support to have quality inspected, Maine grown meat sold in Maine.
There are only 2 options for slaughter of livestock in the US.The first is “Inspected” and the second is “Custom Exempt”. Because of its cooperative agreement, Maine has both
MMPI must maintain “at least equal to status” in order to run the program. This inspection allows plants too small for USDA inspection to sell meat in Maine.
MMPI program oversees inspection of 5 licensed slaughterhouses, 30 custom slaughterhouses, and 51 facilities operating under the poultry exemption for small producers.
2,714 retailers who process meat under the retail exemption
If LD725 isn’t fixed, Maine’s capacity for livestock slaughter will drop by 50%.
There is only one USDA inspected poultry plant in Maine. It will only accept groups of 100 birds or more, hurting small scale farmers.
Maine’s state inspected poultry facility is the only certified organic facility in Maine.
Capacity for poultry slaughter will drop by 50% and capacity of inspected small scale and organic slaughter will drop to 0%.
A resilient Maine food system and economy matters to farmers and Maine people. To achieve this, infrastructure needs to exist, processing cannot be shut down, and put out of business, or face bureaucratic uncertainty.
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