RENNER, S.D. and HUDSON, S.D. (KELO) – Local meat lockers are seeing a boom in business. COVID-19 has shut down meatpacking plants across the midwest, and that has lockers seeing a surge in customers.

Many local meat lockers are booked up for months. That’s the case in Renner.

“It’s been fairly crazy around here, really busy, in the retail store as well as custom slaughter, we are booked way past July already and into August, so it’s really busy,” assistant manager Renner Corner, Jon Siemonsma said. “I think there are multiple reasons, I think one reason is the pandemic that obviously going on in the world right now and I think another reason is the stimulus money that people are getting, they’re wanting to put that to good use, fill their freezers.”

It’s a similar situation in Hudson.

“All us little guys are booked up like this, some of my buddies up in South Dakota say they are full until October,” owner Hudson Meats and Sausage, Doug Klarenbeek said.

Klarenbeek says it’s busy here at his meat locker in Hudson, in fact, he says he gets anywhere from 30 to 40 calls a day from people.

“Everyday we get people calling they want to butcher 5 or 6 hogs, a couple three or four cattle, because they are worthless, a lot of guys are saying if you want them here they are, come and get them, just if you can get them processed,” Klarenbeek said.

Siemonsma says they’ve even had to make some adjustments to keep up with the demand.

“Typically don’t butcher Fridays, but we are now,” Siemonsma said.

For the most part, he says they’re taking it day by day.

“We do what we can do during the day and book what we can book, people just have to be patient,” Siemonsma said.

“People are trying to support us little guys and that means a lot to us, not just our own community, but communities around us,” Klarenbeek said.

Klarenbeek says he has owned his business for 37 years and has never dealt with anything like this.