Brewers, Ranchers Fear FDA Proposal

By KLBK

Published 05/14 2014 09:43AM

Updated 05/14 2014 09:45AM

(KLBK) -- It's a partnership you probably never knew existed.  Now, local beer makers and cattle ranchers hope new FDA rules won't make them end a mutually beneficial relationship.

When Justin Zimmerman brews a batch of beer at Triple J Chophouse on Buddy Holly Avenue, hundreds of pounds of grain is left behind.  It adds up to 3,000 pounds a month.  But instead of throwing it out, Zimmerman gives it away, to a cattle rancher named Kyle Meers.  

Meers feeds the spent grain to his small herd of black angus cattle.  They love it, and he loves that he's getting a healthy, protein-rich supplementary feed for free. 

This sort of brewer/rancher relationship exists around the world, with longtime partnerships between both small and large breweries and ranches.  But wording in a proposed set of new FDA food safety regulations has the ranchers and brewers worried.  They worry the government will soon require brewers to process and package the grain before they hand it off, something Zimmerman says he and other brewers can't afford to do.  

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