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USDA Reaches Out To Small Meat Producers

As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” effort to “create new economic opportunities by better connecting consumers with local producers,” the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) hosted two outreach seminars this week on mobile slaughter units to help small meat producers process slaughter and process their animals.

USDA Know Your Farmer.jpgMobile slaughter units are self contained slaughter facilities that can travel to various locations for processing. Typically, the units provide slaughter services to regional small producers at conveniently located host farms.

According to the agency, “FSIS-inspected mobile slaughter units provide a feasible option for small livestock producers wanting to provide safe, wholesome meat product to local and interstate consumer markets.”

Each seminar highlighted inspection issues unique to mobile slaughter units from both industry and Agency experts and included information on USDA Rural Development loan and grant programs available to under-served rural areas.

FSIS is offering additional seminars in February on sanitary dressing and other meat safety issues, for a listing of upcoming events, see the FSIS website.

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