PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Karns is starting to offer local beef on store shelves as it implements its plan to partner with local cattle farmers.

The Midstate chain announced its first-of-its-kind partnership to develop a locally owned and sourced beef program in December. Leaders say it came about during the pandemic’s ongoing supply chain issues.

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The program uses 19 Pennsylvania farms including ones in Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Juniata counties.

“Most of our farmers were dairy farmers. They understand how to raise cattle, how to be a farmer but they didn’t have a product they could sell with the milk. Now they are raising cattle for us,” said Scott Karns, President of Karns Foods.

Karns says the pandemic only heightened the need for a localized shift in beef production.

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“We have struggled with the supply chain of course during COVID just like everyone else did. But what’s wonderful about this is I am now planning my beef herd out a whole year. I know I have beef supply right here in central Pennsylvania,” Karns added.

Local residents are excited to hear about the new local beef. “It would be wonderful if it were the new norm for everything. I’m really a big believer in shopping local so anything that we could get from the surrounding community that helps us I think is a very good idea,” said Mary Ann Landis, a community member.

Starting on Tuesday, July 5, Karns shoppers can get the first-ever locally sourced and owned USDA premium Angus beef at all 10 locations in the state.

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