COLUMBUS, Ohio — There are two big issues going on within the meat processing industry: labor shortages and cybersecurity threats.

What You Need To Know

  •  The USDA is investing more than $4 billion in the nation's food supply system

  •  $55 million is earmarked for improved access to federal inspection among small and medium-sized meat processors

  • Each week, Chuck Ringwalt and Andy Vance discuss a topic of concern involving agriculture

"I was at World Pork Expo in Iowa two weeks ago talking with pork producers from the farm level on through to processing and the number one thing they wanted to talk about was how hard it is to find help these days," agriculture expert Andy Vance said. "The other [issue] is the attack, the cybersecurity attack on JBS, which is one of the world's largest meat processing companies."

Vance said this has created multiple concerns surrounding the vulnerability of the food processing and production industry. Meanwhile, $55 million will be used to help small and medium sized processors attain greater access to federal inspection.  

“We are building capacity and increasing economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country.” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a release.

"You have two different inspection schemes," Vance said. "You have state-level inspection, so those in Ohio would be conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and then you have federal inspections, which are conducted by the USDA." 

Vance said customers don't need to worry about a shortage of meat on grocery store shelves, but he said that it doesn't take much for a temporary disruption.