Livestock and Meats
There are many ways to add value to meat production. Meat processing begins at the slaughter of the animal and may end as specialty cuts or further processing of the cuts. As much of the carcass should be used to increase the returns to the producer and butcher or processor.
The Penn State Extension article covering processing and selling meat and poultry is a must read for anyone planning to process and sell meat and meat products. The article will outline what inspections and regulations you are required to follow and what equipment you may need to purchase if you are entering the business.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is in charge of inspecting any meat products that cross state lines. There is a difference between inspection and grading. Inspection covers the sanitation and processes of the slaughter and the grading determines the quality of the meat products. This article covers both inspection and grading.
One of the ways to better utilize all of the carcass is to produce sausage. Sausage may be made from most any kind on meat (beef, pork, etc.) or combinations of various meats. The Art and Practice of Sausage Making publication contains information for making sausage from various types of meat and recipes for several kinds of sausage. Tastes for sausage may vary from area to area or even person to person. Knowing your customers likes will increase the marketability of your sausage products.
Jerky products are becoming more popular and the jerky is easy to transport and can be made by almost anyone. Anyone with an oven can make jerky as a dryer is not necessary. Tastes vary by person and knowing your customers is again key. Keep In mind that you are still adding value and inspection of the facilities will be necessary if you plan to sell jerky. The University of Tennessee Extension has a publication covering information related to jerky production.