Stafford County Economic Development (EcoDevo) has been looking into different concepts that might work with the growing need of the county’s beef producers to slaughter, process, and package meat to sell directly to consumers. After talking with Kansas Commerce and Land of Kansas, EcoDevo organized a site visit to see Midwest Meats mobile beef slaughter trailer in Abilene, KS. On June 23rd a group of 5 people including Billy Milton, Lisa Cornwell, Scott and Jennifer Pfortmiller, and EcoDevo’s Ryan Russell went to Abilene to meet with Troy and Brian Leith of Midwest Meats.
The group first went to lunch and discussed Midwest Meats journey of over 2 years in trying to figure out how to create a system of farm to table beef products. The main challenge had been city ordinances which stopped them from doing beef slaughter within city limits. Now they were operating and had followed guidelines to be Federally approved. Troy said, “All small towns in Kansas should be replicating this, it’s the only way forward economically allowing small beef producers to slaughter, butcher, and sell directly to customers. Our goal at Midwest Meats is to promote branded beef specific to beef producer farms’.”
The concept they had built was a 13 ft tall trailer that had cooling capacity for 5-6 slaughtered cattle. They could drive it to any farm in their county, set it up with a 3 man crew, and complete the slaughter process of a cow within 40 minutes of setup. After that, drive the cooling beef to their butcher shop and transfer them from the trailer for processing at their butcher/retail shop. The trailer has on board electricity and water. They have plans to set up slaughter staging stations at all the farms they worked with, equipping them with a concrete slab and electrical hookups for their trailer.
The trip made all participants intrigued about what might be possible for beef producers in Stafford County. This is the starting point in the due diligence process to create a project that fits the needs of beef producers in Stafford County. There will be a followup meeting with all beef producers interested in entering the discussion on how to go about getting beef slaughter and processing into Stafford County. More information about next steps will be available on EcoDevo’s facebook page soon.
If you have any questions or interest please contact Ryan Russell at [email protected] or 620-314-5561.