Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action in after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to the U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

IA Bill Would Give Local Meat Processors a Leg Up

Play

Wednesday, April 14, 2021   

STORY CITY, Iowa - The supply chain for meat processing still is dealing with issues caused by the pandemic, and smaller operations have been picking up the slack. A proposal in the Iowa Legislature would create a grant program to help with the surge in demand.

Supporters of House File 857 have said that when COVID outbreaks forced larger meat-packing plants to pause operations, producers looked elsewhere. At the same time, consumer preferences shifted to buying local meat.

Johnathan Hladik, policy director at the Center for Rural Affairs, said this created a logjam at local meat lockers that would like to scale up their operations, but can't. Today, he said, they're still in a holding pattern, asking the same questions: "How I can manage my business, how I can manage my product, and how I can serve my clients."

He said the bill would provide financial assistance to boost capacity at a time when some of the smaller meat-packers are booked into 2023. He added that the unpredictable nature of the business makes it hard to get bank loans. HF 857 cleared the Iowa House this week with no opposing votes, but it's unclear if it will advance in the Senate.

Ty Gustafson owns Story City Locker in central Iowa, where he estimated they've processed about 20% more product over the last 12 months. Gustafson was able to take advantage of some COVID relief funding for an initial expansion, but said more is needed to meet the demand that isn't going away.

"It would be beneficial to be able to do that without having to pause," he said, "or raise prices to make that happen."

Gustafson said he fears a price hike would prompt producers to look for other processers. According to the Center for Rural Affairs, maintaining new clients is crucial in the growing direct-sales industry for meat processing.

Disclosure: Center for Rural Affairs contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Environment, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

References:  
HF 857

get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …


There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021