Gov. Evers to fund $5 million to help meat-processing talent development

Wisconsin Farmers praises funding for meat talent development.
Wisconsin Farmers praises funding for meat talent development.(Dazia Cummings)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:34 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The pandemic has caused a shortage of meat processors in Wisconsin.

Governor Tony Evers and The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced Tuesday, it is spending $5 million dollars to fund a demand of more meat-process workers.

“So being able to sell meat right off the farm here helps us as farmers have control of our prices, otherwise we’ll be selling to auction barns where we just really don’t have control over the price that the animal brings,” said Danielle Endvick, Communications Director at Wisconsin Farmers Union.

The funding will help train a new generation of workers who can prepare beef, pork and other meats for sale to the public.

Endvick and her husband are the owners of Runamuck Ranch in Holcombe, Wisconsin. It was once a diary farm but they transitioned to raising beef cattle.

As a beef farmer, she say it has been a bit of a struggle to find local processors with capacity in the past couple of years.

Endvick also say with this new program it will help farmers have their animals processed when they need them to be, so that they can help reconnect communities with their food.

“Being able to sell off the farm really helps us as farmers regain control of our price but also a great way we’re reconnecting communities with their food,” she said. “So this funding in the long run will also strengthen the local food systems because we’re really bridging the gap from processing and the farmer and the consumers all together.”

Overall, Endvick say this funding will open the door for farmers like herself to direct market meat from their animals and help them become price makers instead of price takers.

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