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Independent beef licensing booming because of pandemic

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While the pandemic has taken a toll on many industries, independent beef licensing is booming.

Michael Lee, who works at the Division of Food & Lodging within the North Dakota Department of Health, says the pandemic has created difficulties with getting the meat to market.

In the last six months, he says more and more cattle ranchers are becoming independently licensed to sell their beef directly to consumers. Lee explained the process at the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association convention Friday.

“We’ve seen a real uptick just because of the fact that people are having a hard time getting their beef to market,” Lee said. “This is a way that they can have it processed under inspection, frozen, delivered to them, and then sold at retail to the end consumer in a way that makes it easy for them and easy for the consumer to get that beef.”

Independent licensing has been offered through the Department’s Division of Food & Lodging for years. Lee says he’s licensed nine out of the 16 independent sellers in the area, just in the last six months.

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