Hillsboro’s The Meating Place awarded federal funds to increase accessibility to Oregon ranchers

The Meating Place, a Hillsboro butcher shop and cafe, has received $250,000 in federal funds to help purchase new equipment and expand their reach to more ranches around the state, senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden said Thursday.

The funding comes from the US Department of Agriculture’s US Local Meat Capacity Grant program, which will assist the company purchase new processing and packaging equipment, according to officials.

The senators described The Meating Place as “vital” in Oregon’s local meat market, citing its weekly client base of 3,000.

“Oregon’s family ranchers and farmers should not be at the will of giant conglomerates when they go to process their products,” Merkley said in a statement. “I had the opportunity to see firsthand how the sausage was made at The Meating Place’s high-quality processing facility in Hillsboro last summer, and it’s great to see that they’re receiving this federal investment to increase the availability of local meat processing.” Only by supporting our smaller, local meat processors will we be able to ensure more competition, keep food local, and make it easier for family ranchers to succeed in a hard market.”

According to the senators, the Meating Place will be the state’s first slaughter and processing plant, allowing the company to function as a USDA processor for local small meat producers.

“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,” Wyden said in a statement. “The Meating Place is the pinnacle of what Oregonians excel at: growing things, adding value, and selling them. I’ve been working with ranchers for 15 years to establish Oregon state meat inspection so that small farmers and culinary companies can distribute their products locally and at a lower cost.”

The money will let the company to hire ten new staff, expand its inspected processing capacity, and provide services to 290 ranches. According to officials, the expansion will improve access to locally farmed meat in Oregon markets while also increasing access for small, medium-sized, and underserved ranches to inspected meat processing.

“The Meating Place is overjoyed to be the recipient of the 2023 USDA Local MCap award. The Meating Place Owner Casey Miller stated in a press statement published by the senators that with these monies, the company will be able to address the demands of local ranchers by providing extra processing and packing.

The Meating Place opened on Northwest 185th Avenue in 1974 and operated for over 40 years before closing in 1998, according to the company’s website. The Meating Place reopened in 2011 as a small custom business before expanding into a full-service butcher shop and cafe at 6495 NW Cornelius Pass Road, Hillsboro.

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