To kick off the start of May beef month, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) partnered with the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association and the Wisconsin Beef Council to host a roundtable discussion with industry professionals and elected officials.
Conversations ranged from how the industry looked during the pandemic to what farmers and ranchers are experiencing this spring, but the main focus was on processing – specifically, how farmers are getting their products to consumers.
In an effort to help decrease the backlogs present in the meat processing industry, a brand new program was introduced into the governor’s budget. Governor Tony Evers and DATCP recently announced that there were five recipients of these meat processor grants, chosen from an application pool of over 100 businesses.
Secretary of Agriculture Randy Romanski says that the funding level for these grants was cut down to $200,000 a year, so they weren’t able to award as many as they originally planned. Over $4.4 million was requested, which he says is a sign that the interest and need is there for state assistance.
The five grant recipients and their planned projects include:
Nordik Meats, Viroqua | $25,000
Expanding frozen storage, purchase of a walk-in freezer unit and forklift, and increasing labor.
Paulie’s Chop Shop, Luxemburg | $50,000
Construction of a new butcher shop, training, and purchasing numerous pieces of equipment.
JM Watkins, Plum City | $50,000
Construction of a new building and purchase of a new smoker.
Crescent Meats, Cadott | $50,000
Addition of more than 19,000 square feet to existing facility.
Sorg Farm Packing, Darien | $25,000
Reconstruction of an existing carcass cooler and freezer and expansion of processing and cutting room.
More information about meat and livestock development programs can be found at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/AgDevelopment/MeatAndLivestockDevelopment.aspx