BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) - Many were fired up when a federal statute almost put an end to an annual pork fest in Valencia County.
Saturday, the rescheduled 12th annual Matanza brought out thousands of festival faithfuls.
The annual pork fest originally planned for January, was pushed back after the USDA raised a red flag citing food safety concerns.
"In their minds it violates the meat and poultry act which is a federal mandate," Edward Calabaza with the County Hispano Chamber of Commerce said.
The County Hispano Chamber of Commerce worried the feds would red-tag the pigs at the event so they called the whole thing off.
The USDA says they never intended for that to happen.
"The discussion with the Hispano Chamber was to make sure we were following the guide lines that are required by statute," Edward Avalos with the USDA said.
An agreement was made.
The carnitas cook-off was back on, ensuring more money for the scholarship program it funds.
If the feds but an end to the matanza, Belen's Mayor says scholarships will not be the only thing to suffer.
"Los Lunas, Bosque Farms, Belen would really, really feel the impact as for money being spent in our community," Mayor Rudy Jaramillo said.
The Hispano Chamber of Commerce says they have food inspectors checking the food and the preparations during the event.
They believe this was all over the $10 admission fee, which they say is for the cultural event portion.
The USDA official did not say what the two groups would have to compromise on to make sure the event is a go next year.
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