This past week, I had a very informative meeting with Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur and her team from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF). We discussed a wide range of issues faced by producers in Oklahoma.
One of the biggest issues we touched on is the allocation of $10 million in federal CARES Act dollars for meat processing plants in the state. When COVID-19 quickly spread across Oklahoma, many found that the meat they were looking for at the grocery store was not in stock. The pandemic caused a supply shortage across the country due to packing and processing plants closing down from COVID outbreaks and breaks in the supply and transportation chain.
It became evident that we needed to bolster our state’s beef and animal protein supply chain so Oklahoma families could buy their proteins from Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. The $10 million in CARES Act funding will be distributed as grants to meat processors to renovate and expand their facilities to increase processing capacity. Grant applications are due to ODAFF by Aug. 14, and each applicant could receive up to $1 million. For more information about the grant program and to apply, please visit www.oda.state.ok.us.
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