As more meat processing and packaging plants shutter due to COVID-19, cattle producers worry that means less beef will be found in stores.
Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Michael Kelsey says, “The pressure is mounting. We’re really slowing down meat production and that causes some trouble.”
But as plants are brought to a halt, a new way to buy beef is ramping up.
“They’re reaching out! We’re getting calls and emails and even text messages,” says Kelsey.
Calls pouring into the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association asking how to buy beef directly from the source.
“There is a high demand for local cattle and local beef and that’s a great thing,” says Kelsey.
Producers will continue to sell to stores and restaurants, but as more people take an interest in where their beef comes from, farm to fork may be the next best way to herd in dinner.
“You know who you’re buying from, you can ask them questions about how they raised the cattle, how the fed the cattle. Is this a new normal? I think there is an opportunity there,” says Kelsey.
The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association put together a list of producers who are selling beef directly to consumers.
The complete list can be found here.