Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is reminding Iowans that one option to get more Iowa-grown products in their diet is to visit their local meat locker.
During a recent Instagram Live session with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, Secretary Naig highlighted some of the work this year from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. He specifically mentioned supporting the state’s meat lockers.
“One of the things we’ve been doing a lot of work with is supporting our meat lockers,” said Naig. “They have been very busy this year and are doing a great business. We want to help them expand and I think there is a great opportunity for that. That’s something I’m really excited about is how we can help those folks grow their businesses. Jobs for people at home and rural communities, but again it’s another market for our farmers and small businesses in the state. That’s an exciting project that builds on that great Iowa agriculture brand.”
Small Iowa meat lockers received support from state legislators when a House bill proposed a Butchery Innovation and Revitalization fund administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, providing grant funds to meat processing facilities that employ less than 50 people.
Republican Representative Chad Ingels of Randalia is a local farmer who helped craft the legislation. He spoke with numerous producers who wanted increased opportunities to sell their livestock locally and with consumers who wanted more chances to purchase directly from a farm.
“I think that this is a great bill for the entrepreneurs that operate our small and medium-sized lockers,” said Ingels. “It provides a lot of great opportunities for farmers that want to do some additional value-added things for their livestock operations. It provides consumers with a whole lot more choice locally. And I think it provides a lot of opportunities for main street businesses to keep money in the community.”
As of Friday, the bill was still pending in the State Senate.