As first reported by Food Safety News last month, as part of their ongoing Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food effort, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been hosting instructional Webinars on mobile slaughter units to help small meat producers process and slaughter their animals.

Mobile slaughter units (MSUs), which are cheaper than building permanent facilities, enable small farmers to process and slaughter their animals on-site.

mobile-slaughter-ppt1.jpgMSUs also allow groups of small farmers to band together to use the facilities for small amounts of animals.  Because of this, the interest in mobile slaughter units over permanent facilities is growing with more small farmers attempting to market meat from their livestock.

Farmer Phil Noble of Certified Organic Growers in Hemet, California attended a mobile slaughter Webinar and is excited about the possibility of having a MSU in his area.  In an email, Noble stated, “We really need a mobile slaughter unit in So Cal…I hope that somebody will buy one in So Cal so that the small farmers can have a place to get their animals killed for market.”

The USDA urges anyone in the beef slaughter industry to attend these webinars. The upcoming webinars will highlight inspection issues and other concerns, including Rural Development loans for potential MSU operators.

Upcoming Webinars on Mobile Slaughter Units hosted by USDA’s FSIS will be held on:

Thursday, February 18, 2010 from 11:30am – 1pm ET.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 from 11:30am – 1pm ET.

For more information on upcoming Webinars, visit the USDA Website.