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Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 11:02:16 -0500
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To: John Winder <[log in to unmask]>
From: "Linda D. Aines, University of Vermont Extension" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Fwd: FOOD FOR THOUGHT:   Lopez Community Land Trust's Mobile
  Slaughter Unit

John:  don't know if you are on this listserv (below ) or not but the idea of a mobile
Meat Processing Facility  is one that bears watching for VT with has such a shortage of them.....Read on

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From: Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: FOOD FOR THOUGHT:   Lopez Community Land Trust's Mobile
  Slaughter Unit
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Hi Folks,

Please see the following from  a colleague in Washington State.  I understand that there are units in use in the Northeast Region.  We would like to feature these in an upcoming issue of the Farming Alternatives Program Newsletter.   Any information you can provide would be most appreciated.


                                                          PRESS RELEASE
February 3, 2002

                                             THEY SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE!
Mobile Meat Processing Unit Receives USDA Grant of Inspection

 The Island Grown Farmers Cooperative recently received their Grant of Inspection to operate a US Department of Agriculture-inspected Mobile Meat Processing Facility. The first on-farm USDA inspected processing of beef and lamb took place last week on Lopez Island, WA. The first of its kind in the U.S., the Mobile Meat Processing Unit is the result of several years of patience and hard work on the part of local livestock producers, Washington State University Cooperative Extension, Lopez Community Land Trust staff and numerous supporters. Funded and developed by the LCLT, the Unit will be operated by the Co-op, traveling throughout San Juan County to slaughter beef, lamb, pigs and other meat right on the farm. The USDA inspection will enable local farmers to directly sell their meats by the piece to local residents, stores and restaurants.

The Mobile Meat Processing Unit is the first phase of the San Juan County Food Processing Center, which will eventually house a meat cut-and-wrap and cold-storage facility as well as other food product preparation and educational facilities at the site recently secured by the LCLT near Lopez School. It is hoped that educational and research opportunities in sustainable agriculture will be incorporated into the Center through partnership with the school and local 4-H. WSU Cooperative Extension Service has been integrally involved in the planning and development of the Food Processing Center and Extension Service Director Tom Schultz looks forward to the day when the FPC will enable Extension Services to be more readily available to farmers and residents throughout the islands.

While rural communities across the nation watched the process, the LCLT and the IGFC discovered that creating the mobile unit was no easy feat. In fact it required many partners to make it happen. USDA Rural Development, and the U. S. Forest Service provided grant funding for the project and the LCLT is conducting a major donor campaign throughout the islands to match the grant funding with local monies. Bob Dickson of Oregon State University and Dr. Richard Dougherty at Washington State University have provided immeasurable assistance from the early planning stages through the test slaughter last week. Locally, the project has benefited from the active support of the WSU Cooperative Extension Services, the Islands District Economic Development Council and dozens of local residents. Lopez farmer, Bruce Dunlop, has served as a consultant to the LCLT providing project management and engineering design work for the development of the Mobile Unit.

Now that the USDA Grant of Inspection has been received and a trial slaughter held, the unit will undergo several months of testing and commissioning, including demonstrations both locally and in nearby counties. By June the Co-op and the Mobile Unit will be ready to offer full services to local farmers. County farmers who wish to join the Island Grown Farmers Cooperative may contact the President, Bruce Gregory at 360-378-2309 or [log in to unmask] No farm is too small to benefit from the support of local farming provided by the Mobile Meat Processing Unit.

For further information contact the Lopez Community Land Trust at 360-468-3723 or [log in to unmask]