PINKERTON, continued from Page 7 to achieve the laudable goal of vertical in- tegration in a splintered industry, either indi- vidually or co-operatively.

Assessing alternatives for slaughtering, processing and

merchandizing goats Determine first the availability, accept- ability and limitations of one or more “local” custom-slaughter facilities. An existing facil- ity can almost certainly slaughter goats more cheaply than you can (think here of their out- put volume). But, if the facility is beyond economical hauling distance for delivery and pickup, you must necessarily consider con- structing/equipping an on-farm slaughter fa- cility — a high-dollar outlay.

In any case, when discussing possibil- ities for custom slaughter, cost/head is, of course, the major concern, but certainly not the only one. Is the facility federally ap- proved or only state-approved? Can you get a recurring date/time for slaughtering your goats? Do you have to bring some minimum number each time? Can the goats be killed according to Halal and/or Kosher standards? Can you get only whole carcasses? Halves? Quarters? Primal cuts? Ground meat? Sau- sage products? How will the meat be pre- pared for transport? A crucial corollary question is, what sort of refrigerated truck or “ice box” must you have to transport carcasses or pieces for sale or further processing? Dr. Jeanne is again helpful, suggesting that you contact: http/ ulations_&_policies/state_inspection_pro- grams/index.asp. This link can answer the crucial question as to which states require only USDA or state inspection and which will also accept state inspections; other useful in- formation is also included.

Many small slaughter plants do only hang and chill carcasses, not further process- ing. Such a situation forces one to then choose between doing carcass fabrication and/or further-processing activities in your approved on-farm facility or, alternatively, hauling carcasses to a commercial processor whose charge would include a margin of profit which you would “lose”.

The merchandizing function (activity) remains the same whether you do the pro- cessing or have it custom-processed. To mer- chandize goat meat products, they have to be properly labeled. This process can be a bit te- dious and aggravating, but it is a legal neces- sity. All labels must be pre-approved by the Federal or State Agency inspecting the meat

12 Goat Rancher | July 2020

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