There's a new tool to help both consumers and farmers affected by recent meat shortages.
The Missouri Farm Bureau has launched a new database of farmers who sell their meat products directly to consumers.
Over the past several weeks, many shoppers have been shocked to discover shortages of meats available for sale at their local grocers. However Kelly Smith, senior director of marketing commodities with the Missouri Farm Bureau, explains there's no shortage of livestock.
"There's plenty of livestock, both beef, pork, lamb and poultry," says Smith. "The bottleneck is at the commercial processing facilities. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are issues with having enough workers available to process the animals."
The directory is arranged by county, listing more than 500 farmers. It also includes processors that offer services, both to livestock producers and consumers.
Find it online at 'mofb.org.'
Smith says the new directory seems to be very popular so far.
"Within the first hour that we did a social media post and the website was live with this information, we got over 550 shares and about 2,200 looks at the website with that," says Smith. "And it's just been increasing ever since."
Smith adds the directory is likely to expand to include other locally-produced foods.
"We're going to keep this as an ongoing project, just because of the issues that have been brought forward with national, regional and local supply chains," says Smith. "Not only for meat, but other food products. We'll probably have an opportunity to expand as we move forward."