Wall Meats becomes first SD processor to ship meat for interstate commerce

News StaffMay 5, 2023Agriculture News
Western Dakota Technical CollegeOwner of Wall Meat, Ken Charfauros (left) instructs a student in meat cutting in a program that is a joint venture between the business an Western Dakota Technical College.

RAPID CITY, S.D.  – Following a two-year application and examination process, Wall Meats is the first meat processing plant in the state of South Dakota to be able to ship meat out of state and across the United States.

Wall Meat officially stamped its first beef shipment that can be sold outside of South Dakota through the Cooperative Interstate Shipping (CIS) Program at the processing plant in Wall, Thursday.

The Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program brings state and federal meat inspectors together to ensure that meat processing operations meet USDA standards.

The CIS program was launched in 2012 under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack after being authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. Currently, nine states participate in the program to promote the expansion of business opportunities for state-inspected meat and poultry establishments. Under CIS, selected state-inspected establishments that comply with federal inspection requirements are permitted to ship their product in interstate commerce.

In addition to South Dakota, FSIS has signed agreements with Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Sandra Eskin, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, said, “The Cooperative Interstate Shipment program is a little-known but powerful tool designed to diversify the marketplace for meat and poultry processors, while ensuring the safety of the meat and poultry products they produce. We want to work with other states to encourage participation in this important program.”

Federal programs under the Biden administration have cleared the way not only for more USDA certified small processing plants but funds are also being provided for infrastructure costs to bring smaller processors up-to-speed in order to be competitive on a national scale.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are taking action to advance a sustainable vision of agriculture that prioritizes the needs of our resilient producers and small businesses, strengthens our food supply chain and brings value back to rural people and places,” US Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.