The Montana Department of Livestock announced that budget cuts will prevent the department from hiring two additional meat and poultry inspectors. The Great Falls Tribune reports that Department Director Mike Honeycutt says this may hamper efforts to provide services to new businesses or expansion of existing businesses. The local food movement is growing in Montana, and the addition of more inspectors would have given local businesses the opportunity to grow.
The cuts are part of a larger budget shortfall in Montana, to the tune of $227 million. Most state departments are cutting budgets by 10 percent. The Department of Livestock has 14 inspectors for the state of Montana.
The Montana Meat Processors Association has said that members could increase business if the state had more inspectors.
“We could be doing so much more,” said Brian Engle of Pioneer Meats in Big Timber.
Source: Great Falls Tribune