Local Meat Processing Feasibility Study Complete
In 2011, GardenShare, in cooperation with North Country Pastured, received a USDA RBEG grant for a feasibility study on the potential profitability of a mobile four-legged slaughter facility in St. Lawrence County.
The findings are in, and it seems that there is substantial potential value in increasing local meat processing capacity, and adding organic certification capability in our region.
The potential for a mobile four-legged slaughter facility was questioned early on in the study because of issues in docking and ofal removal. Although the profitability of a mobile meat unit is doubtful at this time, the study revealed other potential revenue sources for area meat and dairy farmers, particularly in organic dairy cull cows, and organic rose veal.
The study also revealed the importance of collaboration up and down the value chain to maximizing local benefits in these endeavors. Producers, processors, distributors, retailers and consumers will need to work collaboratively to maximize the quality and quantitiy of product passing through the value chain in order for the proper infrastructure to be built and function profitably.
Producer interest was piqued during the data collection phase of the study, and information was made available throughout the process to anyone who inquired, so even though the study is just now published, the data has already been used by producers and entrepreneurs to purchase facilities, apply for state and local grant funding, enhance business plans, and create jobs in the North Country.