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House green-light project to put Wyoming meat on school lunch trays

Special Olympian Sammie Andrew throws her rope around a practice calf during the Special Olympics Rodeo on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at the Casper Events Center. Andrew, who has been participating in the rodeo for 8 years, nailed the calf on her first try. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming House of Representatives passed House Bill 52 on third reading during their Wednesday, March 3 floor session. The bill would create rules for the “Wyoming School Protein Enhancement Project” which has been in a piloting phase since 2017.

Rep. Trey Sherwood (Albany County) offered an amendment ahead of the House’s third reading vote. The amendment would authorize the Wyoming Department of Education to accept monetary donations from the public or grants to support the meat processing fees associated with the project.

“I believe this amendment gives the program room to grow based on future popularity or demand,” Sherwood said.

Rep. John Eklund (Laramie, Goshen) saw the amendment as “friendly” to “a friendly bill to schools, our school districts and our school children.”

The House adopted Sherwood’s amendment.

The Wyoming School Protein Enhancement Project aims to make meat from Wyoming livestock a part of school lunches.

House Bill 52 would direct the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) to make up to $25,000 available on an annual basis for a grant program to help school districts cover the cost of processing donated meat. School districts would be responsible for half the cost with the WDE covering the other half of the meat processing costs.

The proposed legislation would allow the WDE funding to help cover processing fees of “Wyoming poultry, lamb, pork, beef and bison used in school meals.”

The House’s first reading discussion of the bill is reviewed in this article.

The House unanimously passed House Bill 52 on a third reading vote of 60-0. The bill will move to the Senate for consideration.