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News stories tagged with "slaughterhouse"

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

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer says he wants to help a St. Lawrence County slaughterhouse with a dispute with its meat inspectors.  Go to full article
Eve Ann Shwartz herds her cattle on Maple Avenue Farms in Earlville, NY. Photo: Ryan Delaney
Eve Ann Shwartz herds her cattle on Maple Avenue Farms in Earlville, NY. Photo: Ryan Delaney

When it comes to beef, how local is "local?"

The steaks stacked in the coolers of New York supermarkets and butcher shops may be marketed as local, but just what that label means varies widely.

The state actually has no definition for classifying whether beef sold under that label is locally produced. The duty of deciding what's local falls to the store selling the meat. That presents challenges for the growing the local beef industry.  Go to full article
The mobile poultry slaughterhouse under construction. Photo courtesy <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Country-Pastured-LLC/327773893911612">North Country Pastured</a>
The mobile poultry slaughterhouse under construction. Photo courtesy North Country Pastured

Chicken processors nearly on line

Almost ten years ago, a visiting speaker at St. Lawrence University planted a seed. Economist Michael Shuman told an audience that farmers could jolt the North Country economy by producing a lot more meat. "You have a lot more room to produce your own beef cows," Shuman told the Burt Symposium in 2003. "You could produce a lot more of your own pigs. And chickens are not even in the game."

Community leaders have recalled that advice, to have the thousands of local residents who eat chicken buy it from a local farm, many times since.

The idea is about to bear fruit. The first USDA certified poultry slaughterhouses in the North Country are nearly set to begin production.  Go to full article
Student Tom Acampora wants to butcher hogs at his own slaughterhouse.
Student Tom Acampora wants to butcher hogs at his own slaughterhouse.

Training the next generation of butchers

Mostly gone are the days of the neighborhood butcher. They may never come back. They've been replaced by vast meat processing plants putting out shrink-wrapped cuts for supermarkets. But foodies and locavores are fueling a demand for meat raised, killed, and butchered closer to home. The problem in the North Country and much of the Northeast is there aren't enough slaughterhouses or meat cutters. David Sommerstein visited New York's only certification course for the next generation of butchers.  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

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