The mobile slaughter unit we profiled in the Septembers edition of Western Skieswill be on hand tomorrow at Venetucci Farm for a demonstration of how this kind of small-time processing can connect consumers with the food they eat. Very few people in the US ever get the opportunity to have a literal ranch-to-table experience and we highly recommend this for those who want to have a more complete understanding of how their meat can be processed in a humane and healthy way on the land where it was raised by a person who lives in our community.

From the press release:

Instead of trucking livestock to processing, mobile slaughter allows the processing trailer to travel to the livestock, a concept that has potential to localize the food system while being more humane for the animals. See it for yourself: a mobile slaughter trailer will be at Venetucci Farm, Fri., Nov. 12 (south of Colorado Springs on the Fountain highway.) Demonstrations will be free and open to the public. Come out anytime from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ranch Foods Direct will serve burgers for lunch.

And here’s our story on the mobile slaughter unit:


(image courtesy of the Nebraska Environmental Action Coalition)

For many ranchers, there’s little choice for where to sell your cattle if they want to control the distribution or sell the butchered meat themselves. KRCC’s Noel Black visited a ranch in northwestern Kansas near the Colorado border where a small group of people is taking small steps to change that. Warning to listeners, some of the sounds and descritions in this piece are graphic.

(right-click or option-click to download, or click the play button to stream)

Prototype Mobile Slaughter Unit’s Debut

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Postscript: Megan Pusey, Director of Communications for the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, an industry trade group, says the units are too new to make any substantive comment, but that their main concern is always to make sure safety parameters are ensured at this level as they would be at larger meat packing operations.

 

3 Responses to Ranch to Table at Venetucci Farm

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kathya E., KRCC. KRCC said: Ranch to Table at Venetucci Farm: The mobile slaughter unit we profiled in the Septembers edition of Western S… http://bit.ly/cpPoOU [...]

  2. Lorraine Marie Arangno says:

    I would like to have more information about the actual “killing” of the animal. I would like to know what “knocked” means and if the animal is for all intents and purposes unaware of its impending doom.
    This new way of butchering the animal seems for all intents and purposes humane — but to determine this fully — one needs to know how the animal is treated prior to and up to its death.
    One more point needs to be raised — what safe guards will be put into place to ensure that animals continue to be treated with respect and consideration?

    All the Best
    L.M.Arangno
    UCCS

  3. Noel Black says:

    “Knocked” means shot with a bolt gun in the forehead. I’m told it’s one of the most humane ways to kill a cow, but I definitely recommend directing those questions to Mike Callicrate at Ranch Foods Direct. I’ve also been told that knocking the animal where it lives reduces the stress of travel and the fear that comes with being loaded onto a vehicle and taken to a processing plant where there are other stressed, hungry and dehydrated animals. My impression is that he’s made it his mission to see that the animals are treated with the utmost respect throughout their lives and the process. Having witnessed the process as a reporter, I’d say the fact that they’re so open about it and so careful to show and explain each step is a good sign. Processing one animal at a time, rather than in a factory setting where many are being killed and processed at once, is also big difference.

News

August 1, 2014 | NPR · The $694 million Border Security Supplemental Spending Bill was endorsed one day after the House Republican leadership canceled its plan to hold a vote on the legislation.
 

EPA /LANDOV
August 1, 2014 | NPR · Two Americans infected with Ebola in West Africa are flying to Atlanta. They will be the first patients treated for the disease in the U.S. What’s the risk of Ebola spreading during the transport?
 

August 1, 2014 | NPR · Calling the shootings “questionable,” a civil rights attorney in Oakland requested action by the Justice Department. The Salinas police chief said that would be premature.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
August 1, 2014 | NPR · Nearly a dozen notebooks and journals by the author, who fought in the British Army during the war, are being released to coincide with the centenary of the start of the conflict.
 

August 1, 2014 | NPR · The newest Marvel comic adaptation features five motley warriors, including a raccoon and a tree, against an armada of space villains. The big-budget effects-laden movie is light and funny.
 

August 1, 2014 | NPR · Academy Award-winning makeup artist Dick Smith has died at age 92. In a career that spanned more than six decades, Smith was responsible for bringing some of Hollywood’s most iconic characters to life. Ari Shapiro speaks with Sue Cabral-Ebert, the president of the Make Up and Hair Stylists Guild, about Smith’s legendary career.
 

Music

for NPR
August 1, 2014 | NPR · Think opera plots are tough to follow? Try wading through the complicated action offstage at the Metropolitan Opera. Here’s who’s involved — with perspective on disputes that aren’t new.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 1, 2014 | NPR · Friend shares his love of New Orleans “jass” by playing “Sweet Lorraine” on six-string banjo.
 

August 1, 2014 | NPR · James Brown is featured in the new biopic Get On Up. In ’80s and ’90s, Terry Gross talked with his biographer and two musicians who played in his band. And in 2005, she talked with Brown himself.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab