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Stimulus Funds Offer Hope to Beginning Rancher

Tanner King may not look like a seasoned rancher, but his experience buying cattle puts him way above his years. Recovery Act  funding provided by USDA gave King an economic leg-up in hard times.

Tanner King may not look like a seasoned rancher, but his experience buying cattle puts him way above his years. Recovery Act funding provided by USDA gave King an economic leg-up in hard times.

Photos by: Steve Ritter, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

Tanner King spends Mondays at the Caldwell Livestock Auction in Idaho, decked out in a dark blue hoody sweatshirt and black cowboy hat, blending in with the other bidders. The young rancher might look as though he’s new to shaving but at buying cattle he’s an old hand. Read more »

Mapping Slaughter Availability in U.S.

A map of counties in the U.S. with no small cattle slaughter facility and 143 or more small cattle farms.

A map of counties in the U.S. with no small cattle slaughter facility and 143 or more small cattle farms.

Cross-Posted from the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Blog

Meat and poultry products are important commodities within many local and regional food systems.  The production of these products for local and regional markets is of course dependent on the availability of facilities that slaughter and process livestock and poultry.  Media stories have recently documented the difficulties many small farmers and ranchers often face when searching for facilities to slaughter their animals for local markets; lack of a nearby slaughter facility or lengthy wait times for services are frequently cited problems.  As a representative to the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), I have been working, along with representatives from other USDA agencies, on identifying where slaughter service availability might be lacking and then determining the best ways to help. Read more »

Motivating Schools To Make a Change – HealthierUS School Challenge Additions

Logan Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, is pretty special, in my estimation. It’s is a great example of what a growing number of schools across the country are doing to tackle the obesity crisis gripping our kids and help their students develop healthy lifestyles. Read more »

Mapping Slaughter Availability in U.S.

This FSIS map shows the density of small livestock and poultry producers in relation to the locations of Federally- and State-inspected slaughter establishments. USDA uses the map to identify gaps in slaughter availability.

Meat and poultry products are important commodities within many local and regional food systems.  The production of these products for local and regional markets is of course dependent on the availability of facilities that slaughter and process livestock and poultry.  Media stories have recently documented the difficulties many small farmers and ranchers often face when searching for facilities to slaughter their animals for local markets; lack of a nearby slaughter facility or lengthy wait times for services are frequently cited problems. Read more »