MEAT PROCESSING STUDY
Farm Animal Slaughter and Processing
Study on the Need for Additional Meat Slaughter/Processing Services in South Texas
RFSP Grant Purpose
Padilla Farm has been awarded a USDA’s Regional Food Systems Partnership (RFSP) grant to conduct a study on the need for meat slaughter and processing services for small farmers and ranchers in South Texas and the feasibility of establishing an additional facility or facilities.
The USDA’s RFSP supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The RFSP focuses on building and strengthening local or regional food economy viability and resilience.
Our current partners for the feasibility study include small ranchers, farmers with a mix of agriculture products and animals, and a small business that raises animals for harvesting. We are all located in the Rio Grande Valley and face the same dilemma: a lack of a USDA-inspected meat processing facility in or near the Valley. The study will also evaluate the lack of state-inspected meat processing services.
For small producers located in the Rio Grande Valley and surrounding counties, the nearest USDA-approved meat processor available is a 450-mile round-trip journey from Harlingen, for example. The current lack of meat processing resources is a heavy burden on small farmers and ranchers. Round-trip the journey is 8 hours which accumulates expenses for gasoline and higher labor costs. In addition, there is a risk of animal loss during transit due to extreme Texas temperatures.
The lack of access to services creates a substantial disincentive to increase the production of quality animals such as grass-fed cattle for healthier choices for consumers and businesses that seek locally-sourced meats.
The feasibility study will document the lack of resources for South Texas farmers, and help to identify solutions to fill the gap in access. By providing small farmers and ranchers with access to USDA slaughtering resources we are able to increase the volume and competition of meat products from small producers, create better food choices for the consumer, and promote more efficient farm businesses for South Texas.
A study to evaluate a lack of access to meat harvesting facilities is a crucial first step to equitably serving small-scale farmers and ranchers that reside in South Texas. A feasibility study will ensure that future public and/or private investments will be sound and motivate our fellow producers to continue supplying proteins for the local and regional food chain.
Your participation as a farmer or rancher is crucial for a sound assessment of the situation. Your input will enable us to report to USDA on both the problem and potential solutions.
Below we have a survey to document the challenges that small producers in South Texas face in regards to their access to USDA-approved meat processors. You can complete the survey on this website (in English or Spanish) and submit below. Or, you can download the survey, fill it out, and email it or mail it in.
Thank you for your interest and participation!
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Padilla Farm Location
Gracias por sus respuestas confidenciales.
Sus comentarios ayudarán a Padilla Farm a informar al USDA sobre la necesidad de más servicios de procesamiento al sur de San Antonio.
Download Survey Here: Padilla Farm – Farm Animal Processing Survey – English
Thank you for your confidential responses.
Your feedback will help Padilla Farm to report to USDA on the need for more processing services south of San Antonio. Please email your completed survey to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Padilla Farm at the Harlingen address provided on the first page of this survey.
Descargar Encuesta Aquí: Padilla Farm – Animales De Granja Procesamiento Encuesta – Español
Gracias por sus respuestas confidenciales.
Sus comentarios ayudarán a Padilla Farm a informar al USDA sobre la necesidad de más servicios de procesamiento al sur de San Antonio. Por favor, envíe su encuesta completa por correo electrónico a email@example.com o por correo a Padilla Farm a la dirección de Harlingen proporcionada en la primera página de esta encuesta.