Bill and Jim Eklund receive cattle near their farm in Stamford, N.Y.
The next day, the cows will be led into the Modular Harvest System (behind Bill) to be processed.
[It’s time for Mendocino County to bring itself current with this obvious solution to local meat. If California law has to be adjusted to deal with this, get it adjusted. The big-time slaughterhouse solution being foisted on our community by economic development groups under the guise of “job creation” is nothing but industrialized farming to supply distant markets in the Bay Area and Sacramento… and that’s a load of uncomposted bull pucky. Humane slaughter on the farm can keep our local meat locally-controlled for local markets. Keep it small and on the farm, or forget it. -DS]
The only indication that I was outside a slaughterhouse was the blood dripping from a pipe jutting out of a pristine white trailer. I’d driven right past the Lego-like set-up — a refrigerated semi-trailer with a half-trailer and a delivery truck stuck onto it — parked behind Eklund’s old farm-machinery shop in Stamford, N.Y. With a former Hollywood trailer situated nearby, I took it for a movie set. But I was looking at the first mobile slaughterhouse for large animals in the Northeast.
It was hard to believe that these four innocuous-looking components may well be the answer to the prayers of livestock farmers.
Organic, grass-fed meat is much in demand in Manhattan restaurants, but little of it is local. It’s not that Hudson Valley farmers aren’t raising it. Who wouldn’t want the extra 25 cents per pound that a 900-pound organically raised cow can bring? But when it comes time to kill (or “harvest”) their animals, farmers have only four slaughter facilities available in the area to go to.