Author Topic: On-Farm Butcher Shop for Pastured Pork  (Read 3396 times)

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Offline CatManDo

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On-Farm Butcher Shop for Pastured Pork
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 05:00:54 AM »

Check out our Kickstarting the Butcher Shop project running from March 30th to May 15th on Kickstarter. We’re raising additional funds as we go into the final phase of construction of the butcher shop. See the video at the link above, pledge from a $1 to $10,000 and get great rewards ranging from T-shirts to ivory tusks to a decade of pick of the pig of pork!

We are building our own USDA/State inspected on-farm slaughterhouse and butcher shop. Read about our progress:
    2008-04-21 — Butcher retiring
    2008-04-28 — We met with State
    2009-03 — USDA HACCP Training
    2009-06 — Permits completed!
    2009-07 — Hay shed down
    2009-08 — Underground electric
    2009-09 — Super-insulated foundation
    2009-10 — Wall forms up
    2009-11-15 — First Announcement
    2010-08 — Project update
    2010-11 — Walls topped
    2011-08 — Reefer slab plumbed
    2011-11 — Reefer Ceilings Poured
    Butcher Shop Posts — All posts

Since banks have not been lending we are bootstrapping the construction from our savings, farm’s cash flow, sale of assets like our dump truck and selling CSA Pre-Buys where customers get free processing in exchange for buying early and generous loans from several area business, customers and other individuals. On the CSA Pre-Buys we offer our labor and you save 30% off the cost of a pig. This is a great way for you to save big on your food budget and support local farms. We are also doing a Kickstarting the Butcher Shop project on Check it out and see the video of our farm as you find out how you can help support our project and get our delicious meat shipped to you.

Due to regulatory and insurance complexities we will initially just be processing our own livestock. Once we have the facility completely finished and everything running smoothly we’ll be able to look at doing livestock for other farms, perhaps first processing for people who buy summer piglets from us to raise themselves. In the mean time, if you are looking for commercial or custom processing for your livestock we highly recommend Adams Farm Slaughter in Athol, Mass. They do a wonderful job with humane slaughter, meat cutting and smoking. We have been very pleased with their work and I highly recommend them. For on-farm butchering I highly recommend master butcher Cole Ward who can come to your place and cut your meat for you.

While we won’t initially do processing for other farms at this time, our project benefits other farmers since it frees up 500 to 1,000 processing slots a year helping to relieve the regional meat processing bottleneck.

Another benefit for other farmers is we are paving the way for how small farms can build very small, even nano-scale, inspected processing facilities because I share information. In fact, the Sugar Mountain Farm butcher shop has been chosen for the Open Source Ecology project.

See the butcher shop articles on this blog as well as those about marketing and meat labeling.

If you’re looking to open your own meat processing facility start with your state department of agriculture meat inspection and the FSIS USDA Very Small Plant Outreach web site.

Check Out the Hog Department at