Report Recap: Why Local Meatpacking Matters and How to Support it in Nebraska

Farm and Food
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Major plant closures during the COVID-19 pandemic caused record losses of animals and revenue for farmers. The beef industry lost $13.6 billion and more than 10 million hogs were euthanized by the end of summer 2020. Meat prices were up an average of 20 percent from last year, and 30 percent less meat was available to consumers.

These massive losses, shortages, and price hikes pointed to an industry that is too concentrated, and to the need to support independent butchers to diversify the sector. Doing so will provide more competition and more options for consumers, provide farmers with a much-needed additional route for processing their animals, and strengthen local economies.