Meeting The Needs Of Local Meat Processing

US - Stan Schutte has made quite a success of growing and selling grass-fed, organic meat on his 200-acre "Triple S Farm" in Stewardson, Ill., 150 miles south of Kankakee.
calendar icon 19 October 2007
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Last year, he was named Upper Midwest Organic Farmer of the Year.

He sells organically raised chicken, turkey, pork and beef directly to consumers at farmers markets and through four buying clubs "where people order once a month -- that's my bread and butter."

Switching to organic crops and livestock and direct marketing 10 years ago has allowed him to give up the factory job he needed when he farmed 600 acres "conventionally."

He helps others learn organic and sustainable farming through college, university and ag association work.

But organic farming has its special challenges and with livestock "the weak link is processing," Schutte said.

Small producers don't have access to the major meat packing plants and the small, local plants have been closing down.

"They're outdated, antiquated," he said. "Most of these smaller plants were built in the '40s and '50s. ... We've had three processors close down here in our area in the last year."

Source: The Daily Journal
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