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

AFP/Getty Images
October 31, 2014 | NPR · Some of the weakest countries, such as Spain and Italy, are experiencing a broad drop in incomes and asset values. Deflation is a painful process that can be hard to reverse once it starts.
 

Science Source
October 31, 2014 | NPR · Big questions have bedeviled virus hunters for 38 years: Why do people differ in their response to Ebola? Is it becoming more or less dangerous? There’s now more evidence about who gets sick and why.
 

NPR
October 31, 2014 | NPR · Bryan Shaw showed it was possible to detect early signs of eye cancer from a family photo album. Now, he and his research team have made an iPhone app.
 

Arts & Life

October 31, 2014 | NPR · Kenneth Turan reviews Nightcrawler, a thriller set in the “nocturnal underbelly” of Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a young man who discovers the world of L.A. crime journalism.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · In 1965 the work of six local painters went on exhibit at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The show launched a movement, and the painters’ work now hangs in major museums. One of those artists, now 97, lives in Arlington, Va.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · A new digital platform called Simpson’s World has all 25 years’ worth of the show. FX says it is trying to cater to both old-fashioned TV fans and people who watch shows on other devices.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
October 31, 2014 | WXPN · The Scottish soul singer, a best-seller in Europe, plays songs from his new album, Caustic Love.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 30, 2014 | NPR · The song is the exuberant sound of a novice exploring the possibilities of alternative electronic dance music with no real rule book or manual at his disposal.
 

Mountain Stage
October 30, 2014 | NPR · Hear a live set from the banjo master, who’s long been expanding the instrument’s possibilities.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab