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Meat-Processing Pause Hits California's Smaller Butchers

DAVIS (CBS13) — The California Department of Food and Agriculture is working with UC Davis and food advocates to help meat processors after pandemic closures are causing prices to skyrocket.

With thousands of small-scale processing plants closing, it's put a pause on the state's meat-packing industry.

"If you have a single pig and you want us to process it, right now you are looking at March or April before we can get to it," said butcher Adam Knapp.

Knapp says he has wanted to expand his business, but those plans have been put on hold.

Experts say it's a problem that has been building for decades.

"We need to learn how to do a bunch of things we've never done before - a lot faster," said Tom Tomich with UC Davis.

To try and help, UC Davis has organized a group of farmers, ranchers, small-scale processors and environmentalists to start a discussion on what needs to happen to bring meat to the table for affordable prices.

Knapp says access to federal grants is easing. He has also applied for some to help expand.

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