Naig: ‘New Meat Processing Program is a Good Investment in Local Businesses and Rural Communities’
DES MOINES, Iowa (June 9, 2021) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued the following statement after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed HF 857, the butchery innovation and revitalization fund and program, into law.
“Last fall, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship spearheaded an incredibly successful meat processing expansion program that provided $4 million in grants to 204 of Iowa’s small town lockers. These grants were awarded at a critical time for the industry and assisted processers in upgrading their equipment so they could process more livestock from farmers and serve more Iowans.
There is still a significant opportunity to expand meat processing capacity around the state. I want to applaud state lawmakers for building on our previous efforts to increase processing capacity at local meat lockers and help address their workforce needs. This legislation will ensure continued market access for livestock producers, create new jobs, and help grow and revitalize our rural communities.
We look forward to continuing to work with legislators and stakeholders to strengthen Iowa’s regional food systems and promote locally-grown and raised foods.”
The funds will be used to help small meat lockers upgrade their equipment or expand their facilities to increase their processing capacity. The program also directs the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to form a task force to explore the feasibility of creating an artisanal butchery program at community colleges or regent universities to help address worker shortages.
This program is modeled after the Meat Processing Expansion and Development grants that were administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in 2020 and funded by federal CARES Act dollars allocated by Gov. Reynolds.