By Brianna Gwirtz, OCJ field reporter
It’s been a little over two years since news stories were full of photos of empty grocery stores. The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic brought a flurry of panic buying, especially apparent in the meat case (and the toilet paper aisle). Labor issues at national packing plants caused major supply chain disruptions that are still being felt today.
Ohio meat processors also saw a surge in their businesses as consumers turned to local sources for protein, and livestock producers looked for new avenues to market their products. However, the pandemic merely exacerbated a longer-term issue with limited livestock processing capacity within Ohio.
For several years, agricultural groups had been advocating for the need to improve and expand local meat and poultry processing. In 2021, Governor Mike DeWine announced the new creation of the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program. The state’s 2022-2023 budget allotted funds for the program in House Bill 110.… Continue readingRead More »