Small and medium-sized livestock growers in Minnesota are facing limited meat processing access due to plant closures and fully booked processing appointments, along with difficulties hiring and retaining skilled employees. The purpose of this report is to understand and describe the issues small and medium-sized meat processors are facing, and to offer recommendations to increase meat processing resilience.
Recommendations include: the creation of an apprenticeship program for meat processing workers, increased transition resources from trade associations, further support for plants processing/selling locally raised meats, and the creation of a “navigator” position at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to provide guidance to processors. Financial resources should also be made available to navigator organizations providing guidance to immigrant apprentices.
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