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Tri-Town Packing co-owner Tom Liberty. Photo: David Sommerstein
Tri-Town Packing co-owner Tom Liberty. Photo: David Sommerstein

Schumer lends help in Tri-Town - USDA dispute

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U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer says he wants to help a St. Lawrence County slaughterhouse with a dispute with its meat inspectors.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

Tri-Town Packing owner Tom Liberty says it’s offering USDA-certified meat packing “on a limited scale for those who absolutely need it.” Farmers who raise animals for meat need the USDA label to sell their product in stores, restaurants, at farmers markets, and CSAs.

Liberty had threatened to shut down the service completely last month after a string of disputes with USDA inspectors at the plant in Brasher Falls.

Speaking Monday in Ogdensburg, Schumer said he was just getting up to speed on the issue, and that he would get involved. "We’re going to get in contact with Tri-Town, with the people there, and see if we can be helpful, Schumer said. "Sometimes these bureaucrats, they look at their little book and don’t look at the practical realities. One of my jobs is to straighten out them, in terms of the practical realities, so we will try to help out Tri-Town."

According to the Watertown Daily Times, the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency and Congressman Bill Owens are also trying to resolve the problem between Tri-Town and the USDA.

There are three other USDA-certified slaughterhouses in the North Country – in Heuvelton, Croghan, and Ticonderoga.

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