Small Size Meat Processors Now Able To Market Products Across State Lines

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(Le Mars) — Good news was given to local community meat locker and processing facilities by the Iowa Department of Agriculture. On Wednesday, it was announced that small size meat processing facilities would be allowed to market their product across state lines. Up to this point, meat processed
at a small-town butcher shop would be inspected by state agriculture department inspectors, but would be forbidden to be marketed anywhere beyond Iowa’s borders. In the past, when meat that was to be transported across state lines would have needed to be inspected by federal meat inspectors by
the U-S Department of Agriculture. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says that has now changed.

Naig says officials had been working for such a deal for sometime, but it took the COVID-19 pandemic to bring the idea to an agreement.

The Iowa Agriculture Secretary says because of the situation, livestock producers are trying to be creative for marketing their livestock. He says farmers are turning to the smaller community butcher shops as a marketing alternative, since large-scale meat processing operations have been disrupted because of COVID-19 outbreaks, causing employee absences and a reduction of
processing capacity.

Naig says it may be months before the nation can resume normal meat processing capacity.