Meat Updates

From Farmer Jamie…
Wow! There is so much going on with meat, livestock and the processing end. From right here, close to home and as far as the other coast. There has been so much focus on food and agriculture during this pandemic. Finally, the American consumer is jointly focused on their food supply, those who tend to it, the large companies that run much of it and the farmers and agricultural employees that make it all happen.
I am sure many of you have been watching the conversations and the news headlines on “meat” — and I hope you have realized how few run the majority of the processing that takes place in the United States. Some of which are grounded on American soil but are foreign owned. I have been watching folks share stories of price increases on on meat in the stores. But yet I have some near and dear friends that raise thousands of cattle for the American beef market that are seeing record breaking low prices for their “fat cattle.” The system is backwards and it is only my hope that things will take a positive shift now that much is getting exposed and talked about.
As many know, the harvesting side of the livestock farms around here is already a bottle-neck process. There is not enough processors in the Commonwealth to process meat that the local farming community has. And yet the livestock farms are not operating at full capacity. If only we had a foreshadowing of what was coming; and the consumers who would turn to us that have never looked twice until very recently, at the value of a local food system.
We have to give a huge shout out to our butchers. The skilled art they have that can turn live animals into food. There are not many that can put “butcher” under occupation nor many that wish to choose that as a career path now. It is a dying breed. And while our little processor down the street may not process as many animals per day and may be a little slower at getting a harvest completed, cut and packaged…we know that we are supporting a local business, a key component to our agricultural system here at SpringDell and can rest assured that a job we carefully took care of is finished off the right way. No rushing. No mis-steps and presented perfectly.
We have beef dry-aging…thousands of pounds. And our Team has said they will begin cutting and breaking down the carcasses early next week. We, like many farmers are putting a lot of pressure on them to speed things up. And while we patiently wait for the May meat share harvest to be completed, we will fill our plates with more produce. We need to keep in mind that the average American consumer has been putting too much meat on their daily plates. If we all cut back a small smidge, the small-scale farmers would have an easier time to keep up with the demand within their neighborhood. Let us rethink our food system by rethinking our habits.