March 28, 2024

Merkley, Wyden Announce $250,000 for The Meating Place for New Processing and Packaging Equipment

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that The Meating Place will receive $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Local Meat capacity grant program. 

Both Merkley and Wyden have toured The Meating Place’s retail shop and custom-exempt beef, hog, sheep, and wild game processing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, which is the first operational Oregon Department of Agriculture slaughter and processing plant in the state. This allows the company to serve as a USDA processer for local, small meat producers.

“Oregon’s family ranchers and farmers should not be at the will of giant conglomerates when they go to process their products,” said Merkley. “I had the opportunity to see firsthand how the sausage was made at The Meating Place’s high-quality processing operation in Hillsboro last summer, and it’s great to see they are receiving this federal investment to beef up the availability of local meat processing. It’s only by strengthening our smaller, local meat processors that we can ensure greater competition, help keep food local, and make it a little bit easier for family ranchers to thrive in a challenging market.”

“I’ve been gathering with growers and makers in Oregon’s Bounty Counties to hear how I can help them dish out more of their Oregon products,” said Wyden. “The Meating Place is the epitome of what Oregonians do best: We grow things; we add value and we sell it. I’ve been working with ranchers for 15 years to stand up Oregon state meat inspection so small farms and culinary businesses can get their products out locally and for less money.”

With a weekly customer base of 3,000, The Meating Place plays a vital role in Oregon's local meat market. With this federal grant, they will expand their inspected processing capacity and aim to increase services by 14%, to 290 ranches. Additionally, The Meating Place plans to enhance processing volume by 70%, add ten new employees, and purchase new equipment. This expansion will improve access to locally-raised meat for various markets across Oregon and increase access for small, medium-sized, and underserved ranches to inspected meat processing.

“The Meating Place is thrilled to be the recipient of the 2023 USDA Local MCap grant. With these funds, The Meating Place will be able to meet the needs of local ranchers with additional processing and packaging,” said Casey Miller, owner of The Meating Place