Subject: Keep Working for Passage of the PRIME Act!

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Dear Friend,

While we have previously communicated with you regarding the importance of contacting federal legislators about the PRIME Act, more needs to be done. I have spoken with several of our members and readers personally about how much this proposed legislation would help them grow their farm businesses. I urge you to once again contact your U.S. Senators to support this important piece of legislation.

As FTCLDF readers already know, small independent farmers can easily be a large part of the solution to current concerns with the nation’s meat supply. Consolidation has made the supply vulnerable, and small farms struggle to serve their communities because they struggle to gain timely access to USDA or state inspection facilities for animal slaughter. These facilities are informing some small producers that they cannot slaughter their animals until 2022! 

The Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption Act (the PRIME Act), Senate Bill 1620, would permit the sale of meat processed by custom slaughterhouses that meet federal regulations. This is vital to small scale producers, their communities, and consumers who demand local products.

At this point, broader support in the Senate is important. We urge you to call both of your U.S. Senators and ask that they support the PRIME Act, S. 1620. Please let your senators know what this bill would mean to you. I also urge you to remind your senators that the custom slaughterhouses will continue to be required to meet federal standards. The PRIME Act does not change this. What the PRIME Act will do is provide a means for small producers to provide consumers the healthy and locally produced products they demand. For more information on the PRIME Act, please see this Fact Sheet, compiled by our close ally, the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.

Right now U.S. senators are the priority, but please also contact your U.S. Representative as well! Thank you for your hard work on this extremely important matter.

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director
PRIME Act Action Alert with Cows

The PRIME Act repeals the federal ban on the sale of meat from custom slaughterhouses. The bill returns control to the states to address the issue of meat processing. States would be able to permit producers to sell meat processed at a custom slaughterhouse within the state. States could choose to impose whatever conditions or limitations that best suited their particular agricultural food system and social conditions. These facilities meet state regulations as well as basic federal requirements. They are typically very small with few employees. The extensive and complicated federal regulations that apply to massive meatpacking facilities are neither needed nor appropriate for these operations, which might process as much meat in an entire year as the large facilities do in a single day. Their small scale also means that they are better able to provide necessary social distancing and sanitation measures while safely continuing operations.

The PRIME Act could help improve access and reduce meat prices for consumers in the coming months, while providing income for small farmers and ranchers across the country. And it has many long-term benefits, as the Act would:
  • Help establish vital infrastructure in rural communities.
  • Improve farmers’ incomes and opportunities.
  • Increase consumers’ access to locally raised meats.
  • Reduce stress on animals from long-distance hauling.
  • Reduce transportation miles and greenhouse gases.
The PRIME Act has bipartisan support, but it has languished with no committee hearing or movement. Will you help?
TAKE ACTION #1: For Everyone

Call your U.S. Representative and Senators and urge them to sign on to H.R. 2859 and S. 1620. You can look up who represents you at and or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Below is a sample message for your call or email. Remember that calls have a greater impact, and only take a couple of minutes. Use this sample message as a starting point and tailor it to your own language and focus on why this issue is important to you. Personalized messages are the best way to convince legislators!

As a constituent, I urge Representative ____ to co-sponsor H.R. 2859, the PRIME Act. [OR: I urge Senator ____ to co-sponsor S.1620, the PRIME Act.]

As Americans face potential meat shortages due to the closing of massive meatpackers, it is more important than ever to revitalize our local food production and processing. The PRIME Act opens up options for small livestock farms and ranches by removing the federal ban on the sale of meat from custom slaughterhouses within a state, subject to state law. This returns power to the states to establish a regulatory scheme that makes sense for their citizens.

At a time when we see empty grocery store shelves, and media headlines about the failure of massive meatpacking companies to safely secure our food supply, this bill provides vital opportunities—and many long-term benefits. The PRIME Act supports local food production and small businesses, while also reducing vehicle miles traveled with livestock trailers, and helping to meet the consumer demand for locally raised meat.

Please support consumers and small farmers by co-sponsoring H.R. 2859. [OR S. 1620.]

City, State

If you are a livestock producer, take a few extra minutes and ask to speak to the staffer who handles agricultural issues. Briefly explain to the staffer any problems you have faced with lack of access to inspected slaughterhouses, and how the PRIME Act would help your business and benefit your customers.

NOTE: If your Representative is already a co-sponsor, be sure to say, “Thank you!” when you call. See H.R. 2859 bipartisan co-sponsors HERE. S.B. 1620 was filed by Senator Angus King (I-ME) and is co-sponsored by Rand Paul (R-KY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

TAKE ACTION #2: Do you represent a non-profit organization, or own a farm or ranch?

Sign on to a letter of support to the House Agriculture Committee urging them to move the PRIME Act forward! Just fill out the form HERE. If you have problems, please let us know at, and we will forward your information to our ally, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, which is leading this letter effort.

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