Unlike their counterparts in fruit and vegetable production, many livestock and poultry farmers are hesitant to branch out into direct marketing despite its higher returns. Lack of confidence in their own interpretations of the legal regulations for meat production is a major contributor to this hesitation. Some farmers resort to contract growing and are at the mercy of large corporate packers. Others limit the sale of their livestock to local auctions and dealers with little recourse to competitive pricing. Some farmers proceed with direct sales but are not in compliance with the rules.
A Resource Guide to Direct Market Livestock and Poultry helps to clarify and explain the complex laws in layman terms, discussing slaughtering and processing at the custom, state, and federal levels and guiding farmers through the logistics of the various market channels. While the guide is intended for farmers, it is also helpful to buyers, restaurants, market managers, small processors, extension educators, and many others.
The first version of this guide was written in 2005 and published in early 2006. Over the years, changes have been made to the rules and regulations, resulting in a need for an updated edition. The Cornell Small Farms Work Team on Livestock Processing Issues took on the challenge to update and expand this resource, with funding from the Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network (NMPAN) and the New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI). The 2010 revised edition has been reviewed by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
The 155-page guide is available on line at the Cornell Small Farms site: http://www.smallfarms.cornell.edu/pages/projects/workteams/LP/livestock.cfm
A limited number of hard copies are also available from the Cornell Small Farms Program.
CDs can be requested by sending name and address along with $5.00 for shipping and handling to: Dr. tatiana Stanton, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Department of Animal Science. Morrison Hall Room 114. Ithaca, NY 14853-4801
More information on the Cornell Small Farms Work Team on Livestock Processing Issues can be found at: http://www.smallfarms.cornell.edu/pages/projects/workteams/LP/livestock.cfm