The state Department of Agriculture said Friday that Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge is the fourth meat processing facility licensed by the Arkansas Meat Inspection Program.
The facility joins Arkansas State University, JACO Meats and Ferguson’s Packing Co. as state-inspected meat processing facilities.
The Arkansas Meat Inspection Program was authorized by Act 418 of the 2021 regular legislative session and finalized through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.
The program aims to expand the market for cattlemen by allowing state-certified facilities to sell beef within the state. The program is a partnership with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Arkansas is one of 28 states participating in FSIS’s State Meat and Poultry Inspection programs. MPI programs must develop, administer and enforce requirements “at least equal to” those set forth in the Federal Meat Inspection Act.
Food supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for additional meat processing capacity.