SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Local farmers and retailers are providing options during the nationwide meat shortage due to the Coronavirus.
Traves Merrick owns a large farm in Miller, MO, and is the Region 7 Vice President for the Missouri Cattleman’s Association. He says folks finding empty meat shelves at big box stores in the Ozarks should look to local retailers to stock up during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I know right here locally we have cattle ready to be processed that consumers around here can take advantage of.”
With many of the large processors across the country having to halt production due to hundreds of employees testing positive for COVID-19, it leaves local producers and distributors with more demand, while also running into problems with packaging themselves.
“These smaller processors that can do six to eight, maybe ten a day. The larger processors are few and far between. Up around Kansas City, we had a processor that was able to kill several. That’s no longer in operation. So that took away from a lot of producers in the state of Missouri that were taking their cattle to that facility so the smaller processors that aren’t able to keep up with the amount of volume we’re seeing going to them right now.”
But Merrick says there is no shortage of cattle in Southwest Missouri.
“In the local sector, I don’t feel like there’s a supply problem. The problem is keeping the packing plants going.”
“The small processors do have more people wanting to process than they can handle, and I know that they are looking at dates further out than I’ve ever seen.”
Merrick says products are still out there. You may have to look a little harder to find it.
“If you’re not able to find your meat in town at the local grocery stores, there are many options outside of the norm. There’s a lot of options out there that will probably save you money but will give you a higher quality product.”
One of those options is Hormann Meats in Springfield. We’ll have more from them tonight on KOLR 10 News at 5 and 6.