Monday, May 11, 2020

Meat Processing??? Whats the deal?

We have had several people ask about how the meat processing issues that you hear about on the news will affect us. In short, it will not. We send our animals from our farm to a small local processor. This processor is owned and primarily staffed by a family, with 2-3 non-family employees. We work very well together and it is only a short 35 minute drive from the farm. We have been regular customers for years, and right now that is what helps the most. Because the fragility of the industrial meat system has now been exposed, small meat processors are being inundated with business. So much so that many have processing appointments full for 6 months. Meaning that even if you were able to rescue a finished hog from an industrial facility that you saw on Facebook, there would be nowhere to process it. (unless your back yard is an option) Thankfully we have a standing order with our processor, that we just increased a few weeks ago. Our appointment gets penciled in before they take any others. Please note that we were only able to schedule this consistently with them because you folks have supported us so consistently through the years. Thank you.
The cry's across social media are "People need to just buy meat from farmers and ranchers." "Skip the Industrial processor!" Obviously, I'm in favor of this. However, the reality is that so many people have become so reliant on the cheap meat that comes out of these industrial facilities that the volume they produce is amazing. Local processing doesn't have anywhere near the capacity necessary to fully fill the void.
The answer is consistent support. Support local farmers for as much of your food supply as possible. Vote with your dollars, and continue to vote with your dollars when the pandemic is in the rearview mirror. The industrial system only got as big as it is because consumers voted on cheap food.