Secretary Naig Initiates New Program to Create Markets for Iowa Meat Products 

Cooperative Interstate Shipment agreement allows small meat processors to sell products in other states

DES MOINES, Iowa (June 21, 2019) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has applied for a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. The program will allow participating state-inspected meat and poultry processors to distribute their products across state lines. 

“We are pursuing an agreement with the USDA as part of our continued commitment to expanding markets for Iowa products,” said Secretary Naig. “This program can open new markets for Iowa livestock producers and meat processors, and give more consumers the opportunity to choose Iowa meat products.”

State-inspected meat processors are smaller than their federally-inspected counterparts but are held to equal standards. 

“CIS will provide many opportunities for small, State of Iowa-inspected meat plants,” said Dr. Joe Cordray, Iowa State University Extension meat specialist. “It will allow them to take advantage of internet sales and other sales opportunities outside of Iowa. It will also enable them to work with Iowa’s many local livestock producers who want to sell their products out of state. CIS provides an excellent opportunity to stimulate the economy in rural Iowa communities.”

Iowa’s small meat processors generate $1.5 million in total economic output, $596,000 in labor income and about 15 jobs for every $1 million in sales, according to a study by David Swenson at the Iowa State University Department of Economics. 

To qualify for the CIS program, a meat processor must have fewer than 25 full-time employees and comply with all federal food safety, sanitation and facility regulations. 

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has submitted a formal application to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, which is the first in a series of steps required to finalize the agreement. The changes will likely go into effect in 2020. Visit the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website to learn more about the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.


About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at

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Mikayla Dolch
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