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Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain

Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain
Like Other Countries Do

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MMPUs: The USDAs New Mobile Killing Machines

Just about every agricultural state has these things now; USDA Approved

Direct Marketers to Tap Potential of Mobile Meat Processing Units

October 2008 Newsletter

At the very time that demand for locally and responsibly raised meat is increasing, small farmers and ranchers – who are best suited to meet this need – are losing access to the meat packing operations that enable them to participate in this growing market.

Consolidation in the meat processing industry has resulted in fewer locations where animals can be processed under USDA inspection. For smaller producers, who lack the resources to transport small numbers of animals over long distances and who prefer to avoid the stress placed on the animals, this has created a major obstacle. The system makes it difficult to sell USDA-inspected meat in the communities where it is produced and directly to consumers.

Now a new group, the Nebraska Environmental Action Coalition, wants to find a way to provide the infrastructure to allow local farmers to market USDA-certified meat to local consumers. They met with farmers, representatives of the Nebraska Food Cooperative, the Center for Rural Affairs and with others familiar with the problem, and identified a USDA-inspected Mobile Meat-Processing Unit as an important step. Several of these units have been manufactured in Washington State and are currently in operation around the country.

A Mobile Meat Processing Unit allows “on-farm” slaughtering of large animals (beef, pork, lamb, goats, etc.). The carcasses would then be transported to facilities for further cutting and packaging to schools, grocers, restaurants, consumers or other institutions in want of locally-raised meats.

This unit may require the establishment of new local USDA-inspected cut and wrap facilities or the upgrading of existing facilities to meet USDA requirements. With this type of local processing, farmers and ranchers could choose how to finish their animals to meet customer demand and easily market meat to local establishments.

The project is in its early stages. If you would like more information, contact Diane Schroeder, co-director of the Nebraska Environmental Action Coalition at or 402.641.3652. The Nebraska Food Cooperative collects and distributes meats, vegetables, dry goods and other rural small producer products grown and/or manufactured by Nebraska farmers and residents. These are delivered to customers throughout the state. Find out more at,

Nebraska MMPUs;

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