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Introduced Version - Originating in Committee Senate Concurrent Resolution 47 History

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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 47

(By Senators Miller, Williams, Beach, Cann, Carmichael, Cookman, D. Hall, Laird, Nohe, Sypolt and Tucker)

[Originating in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development]

 

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the cultivation of the meat processing industry in the state, including addressing workforce development needs, technical support for processors and overcoming regulatory hurdles.

    Whereas, The Legislature recognizes a rising and existing consumer-driven market interested in purchasing locally raised and naturally raised meats, which typically sell at higher prices than conventional meats; and

    Whereas, The market value of West Virginia livestock, poultry and their associated products sold annually was over $513 million during the most recent census of agricultural products; and

    Whereas, The cash receipts of cattle and calves totaled $136,736,000, hogs totaled $898,000 and miscellaneous livestock (including sheep, lambs, goats, kids and others) totaled $11,910,000 for West Virginia farmers in 2011, and total sales (including poultry) from livestock products totaled $460,301,000 in that year; and

    Whereas, One study finds that 7.4 jobs are created for every 1,000 cattle sent to small meat processing facilities; and

    Whereas, One study found that if all of West Virginia's meat and pork was processed within the state, the meat processing industry could employ 2,585 skilled and well-paid workers; and

    Whereas, It has been shown that smaller meat processing facilities produce more jobs per $1 million in meat product output than large facilities; and

    Whereas, The number of meat processing facilities in the state has declined by forty percent since 1981, from thirty-five commercial plants to twenty-one commercial plants in 2012; and

    Whereas, The declining number of inspected meat slaughter and processing facilities is impacting farmers’ and producers' ability to meet rising and existing consumer-driven market demand for locally raised meats and the inherent success of a local meat production program depends on the availability of professional processing facilities; and

    Whereas, A recent survey found that nearly half of meat slaughter and processing facilities are interested in training programs to improve their business and workforce; and

    Whereas, The Legislature recognizes the importance of strengthening our local and regional food systems for local and regional economic development; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the cultivation of the meat processing industry in the state, including addressing workforce development needs, technical support for processors and overcoming regulatory hurdles; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2014, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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