Nebraska and Iowa Lawmakers Support Small Meat Processors

The Center for Rural Affairs announced that Nebraska and Iowa lawmakers unanimously approved of bills to assist small meat processors and livestock producers as they work to clear obstacles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Nebraska Legislative Bill (LB) 324 and Iowa House File (HF) 857 received final round approval and now await signatures from the respective states’ governors. LB 324 makes it easier for consumers to buy meat directly from producers or processors. It also creates the Independent Processor Assistance Program to help processors with expansion, modification, or construction of buildings; efficient packaging, processing, and storage equipment; technology to improve logistics or enable e-commerce; and educational or workforce training programs. Meanwhile, HF 857 will establish the Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Fund and Program to provide assistance to new and existing small meat lockers in the form of grants, low-interest loans, and forgivable loans to help them grow. Additionally, a task force to explore the feasibility of establishing a community college artisanal butchery program would be established.