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Slaughterhouse shortage here, and elsewhere

Apr 07, 2011 10:24 pm

CADE (Part 1): Building Artisan Slaughterhouses to Feed the Demand for Grass-fed Meat from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

Locally, the need for slaughterhouses to process local meat has often been discussed in agricultural and business circles. Yesterday, regional and national media also covered the story. In the Watershed Post blog -- which covers the Catskills including Greene County -- Lissa Harris posted an interview with Chris Harmon, the director of the Oneonta-based Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE), was posted Thu., Apr. 7 about the need for more slaughterhouses. In the video above, Harmon explains how his group has been working with Larry's Custom Meats, a meat processor based in Hartwick (in Otsego County, west of Greene County), to build a new USDA-certified slaughterhouse. In The New York Times Thursday, the lack of slaughterhouses in a rural, agricultural setting is not unique to the Hudson Valley. David Ferry in The Times writes about the San Francisco area where, "Only one slaughterhouse remains... in Petaluma, and there are just a smattering of them in all of Northern California. Ranchers must often truck their grass-fed cattle hundreds of miles to the nearest plant, and they face backlogs in the busy season that can lead to waits lasting many months. This means fewer — and more expensive — local skirt steaks at the butcher shop, and more carbon with that grass-fed burger." In 2009 in the Register-Star, Andrew Amelinkcx reported, "There are two USDA certified slaughterhouses in Columbia County, Van Wie in Stockport and Hilltown Pork, Inc.," and he talks with Robert Beckwith, co-owner of Hilltown Pork, who says they were at full capacity, and anyone who wanted an animal slaughtered would have to join a waiting list. Last year, Ecklund's Farm in Delaware County added a mobile slaughterhouse because of the demand in the area.