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New state program is a win for small meat lockers

State Sen. Green played key role in it

In the United States, the processing of meat that Americans eat every day is dominated by a handful of giant companies. There are lots of small, independent meat processors here in Iowa that do quality work, but they do not enjoy the advantages that the corporate packinghouses have.

The state of Iowa is now giving those small meat lockers some help.

Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed a bill, championed by state Sen. Jesse Green, R-Harcourt, that will give small meat processors some financial help. It will also create a program to professionally train the next generation of meat cutters.

The law establishes a $750,000 fund that will be used to award grants to small meat lockers so they can upgrade their equipment or expand their buildings to increase processing capacity.

The law also directs the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to convene a task force charged with creating a meat cutting curriculum for community colleges, or perhaps, Regents universities. When implemented, that program would train meat cutters that are needed in the workforce today and in the future.

Green worked with state Sen. Jeff Reichman, R-Montrose, and state representatives Chad Ingels, R-Randalia, and Phil Thompson, R-Jefferson, to get the bill through the legislature.

We think this law is a win for the little guys.

Its financial component will enable small meat lockers to grow and thrive.

Its educational component will prepare the next generation of professional meat cutters. They are a group of people most of us don’t think much about, but they are vital to our standard of living.

We thank Sen. Green for the work he did to get this measure passed during his very first legislative session.

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