NEVADA, IOWA– Iowa’s small meat processors, state lawmakers, and livestock producers will come together to show their support for the state’s small meat processors during a press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Amend's Packing Plant, 410 SE 18th St, Des Moines.
The press conference will feature voices from the state's meat industry as they work to support and expand Iowa’s small meat processing industry as proposed under House File 857 in the Iowa Legislature.
“Iowa’s small meat processors play a crucial role in our state’s livestock industry,” said state Rep. Chad Ingels of Randalia. “Looking forward, I believe supporting these local entrepreneurs as they expand, hire more Iowans, and serve farmers would go a long way in helping grow our rural economies.”
Rep. Ingels is the sponsor of House File 857, a bill now in the Iowa Senate which would provide assistance to new and existing small meat lockers in the form of grants, low-interest loans, and forgivable loans to help them grow.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated the many long-standing challenges faced by Iowa’s small meat processors,” said Cody Smith, policy associate for the Center for Rural Affairs, one of the bill’s supporters. “On main streets and in rural communities across the state, these small operations are often without the resources they need to expand their businesses, hire more local employees, take on more orders, or finance physical upgrades to their buildings.
Reps. Ingels, Phil Thompson, Shannon Latham, and Sens. Ken Rozenboom, Jesse Green, Dawn Driscoll have confirmed their attendance. Several other state lawmakers have been invited, along with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.
No fewer than two small meat processors will deliver remarks at the press conferences and representatives from the Center for Rural Affairs and the Iowa Farmers Union will also be in attendance.