This is HUGE news for us. We built a slaughter facility for on-farm processing and it is finally USDA inspected. To date, we are only the second federally inspected on-farm processing facility in the country, able to slaughter all livestock.
Why is this such a big deal? For several reasons, but first and foremost, humane treatment of the animals. Before we gained the USDA inspection, the animals were sent in a trailer 1-2 hours away to a slaughter facility in PA. And while this facility is excellent and the staff is gentle with the livestock, the animals had to endure the ride and then wait, often with other animals, several hours before slaughter.
Because our animals are pasture-raised and handled by the same people every day, this was not ideal. Below are some of our pigs and sheep ‘wintering’ on Carter Road in Hopewell.
In addition, weekly travel to and from the slaughter facility took up precious farmer time and fuel. With our new operation, the animals are led to the slaughter by the farmers with whom they are familiar. The process is quick and humane.
And finally, there is never any question as to which animal we are getting back from slaughter. We spend a lot of time caring for our livestock and want to be sure the meat we sell at the market is from the animals we raised on pasture here in Hopewell.