LEAKESVILLE, Miss. (WDAM) – Cutting Edge Meat Company of Green County cut the ribbon to its new United States Department of Agriculture-inspected red meat processing plant in Leakesville this past Friday.
CEMCO was awarded a grant in the amount of $350,000 to help with the cost of purchasing equipment by the Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources Board.
LWTRB, co-chaired by Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson and Interim Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority Laura Hipp, approved funding to expand currently operating USDA-inspected processing facilities and construct new USDA-inspected facilities to increase the capacity of livestock processing in the state.
“During the pandemic, there was a major backlog of farmers needing cattle slaughtered and processed in Mississippi,” said Gipson. “This new facility is of great importance, not only to cattle producers but to the entire agriculture industry.”
“Through this grant, the board was able to provide CEMCO with processing equipment. I applaud the efforts of the Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources Board to increase the livestock processing capacity in the state, and I look forward to future announcements as additional facilities come online.”
Since starting its operations in November 2021, CEMCO offers fee-based meat processing services for livestock producers and retailers.
The new facility also includes retail space to offer locally raised beef and pork products. Meats currently processed at CEMCO include:
Additional processing services will bring in value-added smoked products, including sausage and bacon, as the facility is currently processing 40 livestock, averaging 20,000 pounds of processed product every week.
“This project has created 18 full-time and seven part-time jobs for our community. Future plans include expanding processing to 60 livestock per week and offering additional value-added products,” said CEMCO Owner Scott Hicks.
“Mississippi is the prime location for companies such as CEMCO, which source their meat from farmers throughout the state, enabling them to successfully get their products market while providing quality meat products to consumers in Mississippi and the US,” said Hipp, who is also the Mississippi Development Authority. “MDA is proud to support the CEMCO team as they begin operations in Greene County and create more than a dozen new job opportunities for the area’s workforce.”
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