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News stories tagged with "brasher-falls"

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

Local meat movement frets as Tri Town still in limbo

One of the North Country's few slaughterhouses and meat packing plants says it's trying to regain its certification for processing retail cuts of meat.

Tri Town Packing's co-owner Jeff Liberty says he is "working as diligently as possible" to resolve differences with federal meat inspectors. Liberty says he's hired a consultant from Iowa.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service says it withdrew its inspectors from Tri Town on July 17. A spokeswoman said by email that the USDA will continue to suspend inspection until it's confident Tri Town can "operate and produce product in a safe and wholesome way."

Tri Town is located in the northern St. Lawrence County town of Brasher Falls. It remains open for private meat orders, known as custom work.

But it's one of just four plants in the North Country that can prepare beef, pork, and lamb for sale in stores, restaurants, or at farmers markets. So farmers and businesses that rely on local meat sales are facing a shortage and looking for alternatives.  Go to full article
One of Tri-Town's products--sausage. Photo: Sarah Harris
One of Tri-Town's products--sausage. Photo: Sarah Harris

Update: Tri-Town in negotiations with USDA

Correction, Friday, 12:00 p.m.: This story previously said that Jeff Liberty was "doubtful that he and his father will be able to convince the USDA to relax the rules." This mischaracterized Liberty's statement. His actual statement was as follows: "We're not going to change the rules and regulations for the USDA, and that's not what our intention is. But the way that they've been enforced, and the amount of personnel that have been devoted to our plant, in our opinion, is unfair."

The error has been corrected below.

***

Earlier this week, we reported that Tri-Town Processing in Brasher Falls - one of St. Lawrence County's biggest slaughterhouses - is no longer processing USDA-inspected meats for retail customers. That has the North Country farmers who raised those animals worried. Yesterday we checked in with co-owners Tom and Jeff Liberty. We were also in touch with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Go to full article
Some of the cast and crew of "Willy Wonka" on the set at Brasher Falls Central School.  Photo:  Todd Moe
Some of the cast and crew of "Willy Wonka" on the set at Brasher Falls Central School. Photo: Todd Moe

They've got talent: It's spring musical season

The spring musical season kicks off this weekend at a number of high schools in the North Country. It's a busy time back stage and on stage with final rehearsals amid wet paint.

In one school district the students are having -- literally -- a sweet time. The musical, Willy Wonka, opens Friday night at St. Lawrence Central High School in Brasher Falls. Special effects include airborne actors and chocolate-scented fog. Even though most schools are struggling with being able to afford extracurricular activities, like music and theater, that hasn't dampened the enthusiasm among students, staff and parents. Todd Moe stopped by the final dress rehearsal for Willy Wonka Wednesday afternoon in Brasher Falls and found lots of school spirit.  Go to full article
Peter Paquin likes what he sees in the harvest.
Peter Paquin likes what he sees in the harvest.

Cranberries bumper crop in Brasher Falls

Looking for that local touch for your Thanksgiving table? Try cranberries, fresh from a bog in northern St. Lawrence County. Peter Paquin owns Deer River Cranberries in Brasher Falls.

He says local sales of his cranberries have grown fivefold. He sells to North Country apple orchards and stores in Potsdam and Lake Placid. Paquin says people even drive up to the farm to load up coolers full of berries. "Yeah, they basically come in with coolers and we fill 'em up, basically 50 pounds in a cooler," says Paquin. "We've probably sold to 20 different people in the area, a hundred pounds each. We're moving a lot of berries locally."

Paquin says the hot, dry summer and the recent freezing nights have meant a late harvest. But he says cranberries remain as lucrative a crop as ever. David Sommerstein visited Paquin's cranberry bogs in 2008.  Go to full article
Jeff Liberty, the next generation of Tri-Town Packing in Brasher Falls.  But there's too much paperwork and not enough skilled meat cutters.
Jeff Liberty, the next generation of Tri-Town Packing in Brasher Falls. But there's too much paperwork and not enough skilled meat cutters.

A good knifeman is hard to find

The "buy and eat local" movement continues to grow. In at least one instance, it's struggling with success. More people are eating local beef, lamb, and other meats for health, safety and economic reasons. And more farmers are raising the animals. But in between consumer and producer, there's a shortage of slaughterhouses. Local abattoirs used to dot the North Country landscape. But consolidation in the food industry and onerous USDA regulations have pushed many out of business. Another problem is a lack of skilled meat cutters. In part two of a series on the slaughterhouse shortage, David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Bison farmer Dale Healey ran short of product because his slaughterhouse was booked.
Bison farmer Dale Healey ran short of product because his slaughterhouse was booked.

Local meat boom exposes slaughterhouse shortage

Tonight, local beef, lamb, and pork farmers are gathering at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Canton to discuss a problem that they're happy to have. Increased interest in local grass-fed and free range meat has created a shortage of slaughterhouses in the North Country and across the Northeast. There are only three USDA-certified abattoirs in northern New York, two in St. Lawrence County and one near Saratoga Springs. As David Sommerstein reports, meat processors see a big opportunity and a big risk.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County is hosting a meeting tonight at 7 to discuss the shortage of slaughterhouse facilities in the region.

One note to this story: bison farmer Dale Healey is retiring, but he says it had nothing to do with the slaughterhouse shortage.  Go to full article

Speedway in St. Lawrence County back on track

A NASCAR-style race track is closer to reality in St. Lawrence County. Northway Island Associates announced purchase of 928 acres of land for the speedway this week. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

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