The summer of 2020 is definitively one for the books. The cancellations of many counties fairs, health concerns in large processing plants and new consumer trends have placed pressure on local butcher shops. After watching this all unfold earlier this spring and summer Mark Finnegan of Rock County decided to do something about it. He created the Facebook group called Save Our Local Ag Kids (SOLAK) and designed a project to help encourage youth to look into butcher shops as a career. He has collected over $80,000 in pledges to help fund this project.
How this will work is SOLAK will pay 8 weeks of wages of the applicants’ when they work at a meat processor that is participating in the project. Then when the 8 weeks are complete deserving applicant will be given a scholarship to continue their work in the Meat Animal Science Field. Currently this program is open to 18-25 year urban or rural kids with a strong work ethic in Rock and Walworth Counties. There is no deadline to apply, but the group would like to fill the positions by the end of the summer. If this program is successful in Rock and Walworth Counties it will look into expanding to other counties as well.
This is funded entirely by donations by local businesses and individuals. All donations are tax deducible and are being ran thought the Clinton FFA Alumni. There has been over $80,000 in pledges so far for this project and they are looking for more to make this project bigger and better. To find information on how to make a donation visit the Save Our Local AG Kids Facebook group.