Increasing slaughter capacity one of the priorities set by ag and cattle groups

Addressing the slaughter capacity shortage was one of the priorities of a recent meeting of the largest ag and cattle groups.  Chelsea Good with the Livestock Marketing Association says they’re encouraging investment in and the development of independent, local, and regional packers.

But, she says the cost of starting a plant can be prohibitive.  “We’ve already seen Congress and many states as well try to work on some ways to provide some incentives,” she says.  “I think helping with some of those startup costs and getting some of these new plants off the ground is certainly part of the conversation.”

She tells Brownfield they’re also looking at ways to address the regulatory challenges facing some facilities.  “Figuring out if there are ways we can help provide a little ease of some of those regulatory burdens that helps make those plants make sense from a financial standpoint,” she says.   

AUDIO: Chelsea Good, LMA

Colin Woodall, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says in addition to creating new shackle space, it’s also taking a lot of the smaller plants that exist today and give them more opportunities.  “So they can grow,” he says.  “For example, making sure that state inspected plants can ship across state lines.  And also allow state inspected plants to be able to utilize e-commerce in order to sell their product.”

AUDIO: Colin Woodall, NCBA

The groups have agreed to take additional action items back to their respective organizations for consideration.  More details can be found HERE.

The groups, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Farmers Union, R-CALF USA, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association, met in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this month.

There are plans for additional meetings, but dates have not been set.

  • You also need to get the USDA on board as they have not been in favor of small meat packing facilities. DEQ has also been a problem as they require over the top water treatment systems that are prohibitively expensive. The USDA and DEQ need to provide a streamlined pre-approval for meat packing plants after reviewing the plans for the plant and a 90% USDA guaranty for any lender. Lenders need to have a say in whether the requirement by USDA and DEQ are feasible.

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