Keep It In The State: South Carolina looks to expand the state’s beef processing capacity

A Long Time Coming

South Carolina is looking to keep more of the beef produced in the state on their own grocery shelves.
Work has already begun on several projects looking to expand, remodel, and add on to processing facilities.

South Carolina’s Ag Commissioner says that it has been a long time coming.

According to Commissioner Hugh Weathers, “That has been a main focus of the department, really, for the last couple of years. Beef farmers told us they would like to take more of their animals to processing size, 1,100-1,200 pounds, rather than ship most of them out as stocker calves and send them out west. We analyzed places where we could invest some of our Agribusiness Development Fund money and found nearly a dozen beef processors around the state that could help raise that capacity within the state.”

The Commissioner said that he is looking forward to the future of the state’s cattle industry.

“Really excited about the future of beef and then helping them sell it locally. A lot of farmers are doing the half-cow, the corn-cow, type of thing under their own label, but we want to work to get more South Carolina beef on the shelves, into the restaurants, in the schools, in the universities— you name it. So, it’s just a typical economic development activity initiative that we make around here, and that is just figuring out all the pieces of the puzzle and how to put them together,” he adds.

South Carolina is home to approximately 148,000 head of beef cattle.

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