Only one of every five head of beef cattle raised in Iowa is processed in Iowa, according to Bob Noble, president of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. 

This brings into clear focus, he said, why Iowa needs to incentivize more local slaughter plants. “It would increase competition and demand for cattle. That will help prices for cattle sold in Iowa,” he said.

Noble was part of a recent roundtable discussion with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on rural development funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The event at Lime Springs in northeastern Iowa’s Howard County included a variety of participants,...