Animal shares, independent processor assistance approved

Senators passed a bill May 19 that allows farmers and ranchers to offer livestock ownership shares to customers.

Sen. Tom Brandt
Sen. Tom Brandt

Introduced by Plymouth Sen. Tom Brandt, LB324 allows the acquisition of meat through an animal share — an ownership interest in an animal or herd of animals created by a written contract between a consumer and a farmer or rancher — under certain conditions.

Among other requirements, the animal share owner, or someone acting on their behalf, must receive the meat, and the farmer or rancher must provide the consumer with a description of their livestock health and processing standards.

A farmer or rancher who offers an animal share must be a Nebraska resident and maintain a record of each animal share sold. The name and address of each individual with an ownership interest in the particular livestock must be presented to the processor prior to slaughter.

LB324 also creates an independent processor assistance program that, if funds are made available, will provide funding to certain federally inspected, state inspected or custom-exempt slaughter and processing facilities in Nebraska that employ fewer than 25 people.

Recipients may use the funds to pay for capital improvements, utilities upgrades, equipment, technology, building rentals, costs associated with increased inspections and educational and workforce training.

Lawmakers voted 48-0 to pass LB324.

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