Southcentral Alaska is close to losing it's only slaughterhouse and ranchers are not happy. Mt. McKinley Meats & Sausage is a state-owned slaughterhouse run by prison labor and is currently set to close next June, reports Paula Dobbyn for KTUU.
The Alaska Legislature is cutting the funding due to a loss for the state; between 11 and 14 prisoners work at the plant under three state employee managers. Though two meat-industry consultants created a report that showed the plant is critical to Alaska's food security, it also found that the management salaries totalling $363,486 are "crippling the plant," reported Dobbyn.
The recommendation believes that it should be leased to a private entity. Ranchers in the area continue to lobby against the closing. Delta Junction cattleman and president of the Delta cahpter of the Alaska Farm Bureau Scott Mugrage told Dobbyn, "“My whole livelihood depends on it.... Only a tiny portion of the food we eat is grown here in Alaska. We’ve got about three days’ worth of food here in this state at any given time. If anything cuts off that supply line, we’re in trouble. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some more of that food being raised here?"