Bills would improve state cattle markets


By Kevin Winter, Lake County Examiner (OR)

Mar 31, 2021 


Two bills introduced by Oregon Rep. Mark Owens, 60th District Oregon House, could have a big impact for ranchers across Oregon allowing them to sell shares of their cattle to the public and having the Oregon Department of Agriculture to study ways to promote local meat production.


House Bill 2258 and House bill 2786 are the two bills. HB 2258 would allow a farm or ranch owner to sell an ownership interest in their animals directly to consumers.


Owens said one of the goals is to bypass the middle man and allow farmers and ranchers to sell directly to the consumer. Owens said the meat market is not transparent, and prices have been depressed for years in the cattle market as ranchers were not able to easily sell directly to consumers.


One area Owens is working on with both bills is to encourage more local meat processing. Currently, all cattle that is processed has to be sent to an USDA facility; even meat sold directly to consumers. Meat is not able to be sold directly to restaurants and most be bought through suppliers. Te companion bills would allow state and local inspections of facilities, with the goal of more local production. Many small USDA inspected facilities are at capacity and months behind.


HB 2258 would allow...