UNL to launch on-campus meat processing facility to boost the industry


UNL to launch on-campus meat processing facility to boost the industry

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has unveiled plans to develop a state-of-the-art processing plant that will strengthen the meat industry in the region.

Clint Krehbiel with UNL’s Animal Science department said the plant will serve as a processing hub for cattle producers and a prototype for small processors. “We think our best way to grow the industry from the capacity standpoint is with our workforce development where we’re providing our expertise that the existing small processors need in the region.”

The Small Meat Processing Plant of the Future will be a multi-disciplinary center located on East Campus and UNL says it’ll hire and train staff to maintain regular slaughter operations and establish a suite of resources for producers.

Krehbiel tells Brownfield the plant will be able to customize needs for small processors. “Not only from the way you go from handling animal and animal welfare into the plant and but through the abattoir and how that processing works and how it flows through the system from live animal to really product coming out at the end.”

He says the plant will help small processors find solutions to match demand, implement new technologies and strengthen workforce development. “That they have limitations that they have in regards to space or resources. They’re very traditional in their approach to harvest and process.  We can show them how to improve that clear through state-of-the-art instrumentation so even a platform for robotics.”   

UNL’s announcement came shortly after USDA said it would make $215 million grants available to strengthen the meat industry and Krehbiel says that could be a potential source for funds.

Other fundraising efforts for the plant are underway.

Clint Krehbiel, UNL’s Animal Science Department: