The New York Times reports on a growing problem for small farmers across the nation: too few slaughterhouses to meet the growing demand for locally raised meat.
In what could be a major setback for America’s local-food movement, championed by so-called locavores, independent farmers around the country say they are forced to make slaughter appointments before animals are born and to drive hundreds of miles to facilities, adding to their costs and causing stress to livestock.
As a result, they are scaling back on plans to expand their farms because local processors cannot handle any more animals.
“It’s pretty clear there needs to be attention paid to this,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an interview. “Particularly in the Northeast, where there is indeed a backlog and lengthy wait for slaughter facilities.”