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Farm to table: purchasing meat from farmers safely and legally

Published: May. 12, 2020 at 10:06 PM CDT
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Buying an animal from a farmer and having it processed at a locker is nothing new for Heather Benson.

"My freezer is full. I walk out and I go grocery shopping in my garage," said Benson.

She sees the bottleneck for others.

"There's a supply of Beef, there's demand from consumers but it all comes through to what can we process at the small facilities," said Benson.

There still are options if you'd like to purchase directly from the farm. The Director of the South Dakota State Meat Inspection program, Dusty Oedekoven, describes the regulations.

"So long as the consumer pays for that animal to the farmer and pays the processor for the processing, and then that meat comes back to the consumer," said Oedekoven.

With meat lockers booked into late fall or even next year, another trend is re-emerging from generations past, that's also legal.

"and that's that's a good opportunity to is if you want to do your own processing of course you can go buy an animal from a farmer and do your own processing," said Oedekoven.

Rob Bendt started the Farm to table facebook group for those who have a locker date or are willing to process it themselves.

"There's got to be a better answer to this than letting these animals go to waste," said Bendt.

And there are resources to learn how to process meat.

"The State University's extension, they've a developed a cutting guide for home processing. So, yeah, we're, that's a great option as well," said Oedekoven.

"People that can use the meat and process themselves, why not?" said Bendt.

Links:

Facebook Farm to Table Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/990838254652238/

Selling and Distributing Meat in South Dakota

https://aib.sd.gov/pdfs/Selling%20and%20Distributing%20Red%20Meat%20in%20SD.pdf

SDSU Extension: How to slaughter a hog

https://extension.sdstate.edu/home-hog-slaughter