The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association recently held its first-ever summer conference, and ICA president Bob Johnson says a lot of the farmer-producers wanted an update on when a closed meatpacking plant in Tama will reopen. Johnson says the plant opening is set for July 21St. The Cattlemen’s Association created Iowa Quality Beef Supply Cooperative, a group of producers who bought the meatpacking plant last year and have been renovating it and installing state-of-the-art equipment. Johnson says the management is “pretty well all in place,” and they’ve collected about 1100 applications from people who hope for jobs in the plant. Johnson says the Tama area needs the jobs with the closure of the Meskwaki casino nearby. Johnson says concerns over Mad Cow Disease have kind of moved into the background. He says the National Cattlemens Association handled it well, and the public seems to have taken news about the disease without a drop in the sale of meat at the grocery store. Johnson says farmers are hoping to learn about “Country of Origin Labeling” that will make them keep more records and track every animal from its birth to the slaughter, to prove where the meat was produced.
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