MFU Applauds new Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program

MFU Applauds new Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program

Montana State-Inspected meat processors allowed expanded market opportunities for producers across state lines

Great Falls – Montana has recently finalized with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Program agreement — allowing meat processed at state-inspected facilities to retail the product across state lines.

Montana Farmers Union (MFU) was a strong advocate of getting funding for the program during the 67th legislative session, which was ultimately successful. The program expands market and retail opportunity for Montana producers. Montana is now the 10th state in the nation with the program in place. The USDA Food Safety Inspection Services notes that “the CIS program was launched in 2012 under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack after being authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.” 

“This CIS Program is critical to improving food security in our state and nation. This is a program that benefits our producers and consumers,” said Montana Farmers Union President, Walter Schweitzer. “Having this program for our state-inspected facilities now provides an expanded market for our producers to reach more consumers with their high quality product. Montana Farmers Union is grateful for the work of the Department of Livestock for getting this process moving and the program in place. We look forward to the great opportunities that this will provide for Montana agriculture.”

######Press Information: President Walter Schweitzer: 406-799-3782
Montana Farmers Union has worked more than 100 years for family farms, ranches, and rural communities. MFU supports its members through: Strong education programs for both youth and adults, by advocating member-driven policies and legislation at the state and federal level, and cooperation through producer-owned co-ops. For more information, visit


2023 Montana Farmers Union Annual Convention

October 27, 2023 - October 28, 2023
Heritage Inn, Great Falls MT