SDSU Extension responds to demand for more small processors


SDSU Extension responds to demand for more small processors

South Dakota State University Extension is responding to the demand for more local, smaller scale meat processing facilities.

Christina Bakker, SDSU Extension meat science field specialist, says they’re seeing a lot of people wanting to get into processing and many are pork or beef producers, “There’s been several that have been looking at getting under custom exempt where they can sell directly to customers, process themselves and there’s been a few others looking at getting under state inspection.”

Bakker says their upcoming Pork Processing Short Course is in mid-September at the SDSU Meat lab in Brookings and will start with the basics, “Humane handling, humane harvest. How to cut up a pork carcass and get your retail and primal cuts as well as we’re going to make some brats and bacon, so get a little bit farther into the processing with that.” She says they’ll also focus on ingredients used and food safety.

Bakker says she is also working on increasing the labor force for meat processing.

South Dakota’s governor designated five-million-dollars of federal CARES Act funding to help smaller meat processors meet the increased demand that began during the pandemic.

Interview with Christina Bakker ^^