Over the past two years, we have witnessed firsthand just how fragile our meat processing sector is. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of global, concentrated supply chains, and we have seen farmers euthanize animals while others are forced to book processing dates even before animals are born. What has become clear is that we need to support small and midsized meat processing facilities so that they can serve the needs of farmers across the state.
As the 2022 session of the Minnesota state Legislature approaches the half-way mark, legislation is being proposed that would provide support for small and midsized processing operations in the state. One bill would provide reimbursement grants to meat and poultry processors who attend food safety and business planning courses: The bill requests $100,000 in fiscal year 2023 to go to the state Department of Agriculture to administer these grants.
We need you to take action with us by contacting House and Senate Agriculture Committee members to make sure these funds can get to small meat processors who need them.