LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs is pleased to see Gov. Pete Ricketts’ support for small- and medium-sized meat processors, with the inclusion of $10 million to increase independent local processing capacity in his recommended state budget adjustments released Thursday.
“Gov. Ricketts recognizes that an investment in Main Street meat lockers doubles as an investment in Nebraska agriculture. This support will help local processors secure the space and equipment needed to keep up with the heightened demand caused by changing consumer preference and interruptions at regional packing plants,” said Johnathan Hladik, the Center’s policy director. “That is a win for the livestock producers who partner with these local facilities to develop a quality product we can all be proud of.”
The $10 million would provide funding for the Independent Processor Assistance Program (IPAP), established as part of Legislative Bill 324, which the governor signed into law last summer. Introduced by Sen. Tom Brandt, that bill did not include funding for the IPAP, as the senator and 19 cosponsors recognized it would be an ideal match for the federal relief dollars scheduled to be debated this legislative session. The $10 million appropriation recommended by the governor mirrors the request included in another bill introduced by Sen. Brandt, LB 755.