wyoming department of agriculture

Bureau of Land Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a backlog in the meat processing industry. So Gov. Mark Gordon is directing $10 million in federal CARES Act funding to help Wyoming processors expand their operations.

The Meat Processing Expansion grant program hopes to address supply chain issues many producers and processors are facing.

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming legislature has passed a bill that makes it legal to grow hemp in Wyoming, and legalizes the sale of products made from hemp, including CBD oil.

Roger Wollstadt

The Powder River Basin Resource Council's Bill Bensel says without a USDA meat plant in Wyoming local meats can’t get to state schools and stores. However, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture's Derek Grant says that’s not true.

“Our producers can take their livestock to those meat plants and then sell the products in the state of Wyoming to restaurants and school and individuals.”

Bensel says the problem is that there are too few slaughtering plants—only 12 state wide—to make it economically feasible for ranchers to process in-state.

Irina Zhorov

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture recently proposed new food safety rules. One of the most contentious adjustments has to do with raw milk – that’s milk that is not pasteurized. It’s already illegal to sell raw milk in the state, but if passed, the new rules would make it illegal to obtain it unless you own your own dairy cow. This has some milk drinkers very upset. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.

Irina Zhorov: Frank Wallis hosts a herd of twelve milk cows on his ranch in Recluse, Wyoming.

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture’s Consumer Health Services Section is proposing new amendments to the Wyoming Food Safety Rule.

The changes outline rules for egg producers wanting to sell their eggs to restaurants, make more stringent the rules for processed cut leafy greens such as packaged salads, and limit consumption of raw milk to sole owners of the producing cows, their families, and unpaying guests.

Dean Finkenbinder is the manager of Consumer Health Services and he says the goal is get Wyoming in line with federal food safety guidelines.

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture is proposing new rules for certain produce, eggs and milk.

Linda Stratton of  consumer health services in the department says the biggest change involves leafy greens.

“In an establishment where they are cutting and chopping leafy cut greens, they will have to keep those under refrigeration. They can’t sit out for more than four hours and that type of thing.”