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SC Transfers Poultry and Egg Grading to Federal Regulators

South Carolina Department of Agriculture Hugh E. Weathers, Commissioner

Media Contact: Eva Moore, 803-734-2196, emoore@scda.sc.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 21, 2022

SC Transfers Poultry and Egg Grading to Federal Regulators

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is returning responsibility for poultry and egg grading in South Carolina to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The move comes after a new state-federal cooperative agreement was implemented that would require South Carolina to charge federal service rates to poultry and egg producers. Given that a state program could no longer offer a savings for industry, as well as the fact that our inspection team could see increased wages as federal employees, we decided it was in everyone’s best interest to relinquish the state program back to the USDA Livestock and Poultry Program. This decision came after thorough deliberation and collaboration.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s (SCDA) Poultry and Egg Programs and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Livestock and Poultry Programs have worked in partnership for nearly 42 years. Since the cooperative agreement’s conception, we have been providing poultry and egg grading services to industry within South Carolina.

Over the last few years, other states have relinquished their programs back to USDA, making South Carolina one of few federal-state programs still active.

The USDA full program takeover will be May 1, 2022.  All current employees will transfer and will continue to work in the same capacity, as we are committed to maintaining exceptional service without disruption.  The only change will be the agency completing the monthly billing and direct USDA points of contact.

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SC Transfers Poultry and Egg Grading to Federal Regulators [pdf]