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Tom Brandt

Sen. Tom Brandt

District 32

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The Independent Processor Assistance Program that was created in LB324 (2021) and the funding for it that passed in LB1014 (introduced as LB755) earlier this year was the subject of a Nebraska Examiner article by Paul Hammel:

The Independent Processor Assistance Program … allocates $10 million to small meat processors like the Goods. The grants will help eligible meat processors with fewer than 25 employees and less than $2.5 million in sales. 

The money came from the state’s $1 billion-plus allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act enacted under President Joe Biden. The grants will be allocated by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

State Sen. Tom Brandt of Plymouth, the sponsor of the processor assistance legislation, said the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated how easily the food chain can be disrupted, particularly when it comes to fresh beef and pork.

Brandt said he could typically get an animal in for slaughter within three or four weeks at his local locker plant in Diller.

After COVID-19 arrived, the wait was 16-18 months, which the senator said is longer than it takes to finish a steer.

If hogs don’t get to a processing plant in normal time and grow too large, they can’t be slaughtered at a normal processing plant, Brandt said. 

He said he was offering his pigs at a cut-rate of $100 a head to anyone who could butcher them themselves. There were also reports of some hog producers euthanizing pigs because they had too many to give away or sell on the cheap.

The impact was felt on the farm and ranch — the Platte Institute, along with the Nebraska Farm Bureau, estimated the losses suffered due to supply chain disruptions at $971 million for beef producers and $166 million for pork producers. 

Read the entire article here.

Sen. Tom Brandt

District 32
Room 1528
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2711
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