The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the consolidation of the Livestock and Seed Program’s Audit, Review and Compliance and Meat Grading and Certification Branches. 

“The consolidation of the branches ensures that AMS will continue to provide marketing services to the livestock and meat industry in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible,” said AMS Administrator Rayne Pegg. “We strongly believe that the merger will accent the best of both branches and position the program to increase the availability of innovative value-adding services to meet the emerging needs of an industry that is critical to the nation’s economy.”
 
The restructured organization, named the Grading and Verification (GV) Division, is headquartered in the Denver, Co., area and led by Larry R. Meadows, Division Director, with Stephen H. Cave and James L. Riva as Deputy Directors. Stephen Cave will manage the financial, administrative and personnel functions, and James Riva will oversee grading, certification and auditing services.
For those that rely on official USDA grading, auditing and certification services—from producer to consumer—the transition to the new GV Division will be seamless. The GV Division will continue to provide the critical marketing services that communicate product attributes and differentiate products in the market place without interruption.
 
The GV Division provides official USDA grading for over 20 billion pounds of beef and 108 million pounds of lamb each year through its highly skilled Meat Graders. In addition, GV Division certified Auditors provide internationally recognized verification services that facilitate the marketing of approximately $27 billion of agricultural commodities in domestic and world markets each year to over 400 different commercial programs.