When a Ferrisburgh slaughterhouse issued a voluntary recall due to an E. coli outbreak, it was the first known recall issued by a Vermont meat processor. The incident refocused attention on the inner workings of Vermont’s meat industry, comprised of small farms and small processing plants than are found in other parts of the country. How does the increasing interest in locally raised meat match up with the capacity of producers and slaughterhouses? We examine the limits of meat production in Vermont, and whether our current capacity can keep pace with consumer demand.(Listen)
Also, Vermont and New Hampshire are both grappling with budget woes. Valley News political editor John Gregg compares the different approaches the two states are taking. (Listen)
And sculptor B. Amore is wrapping up an exhibition that uses the personal items like gloves and miniature silk portraits to tell the stories of industrial workers. The Gallery in the Field in Brandon is showing Amore’s work, "Heads, Hands & Hearts," through this week. (Listen)
Listener email on local meat:
Marian White, Land & Lamb Co. in Tunbridge:
I raise sheep for wool and meat, have my own label and sell locally. It is stunningly expensive to provide local lamb meat: $70-$75 per animal for slaughter and processing commercially. For a spring lamb, hanging weight may be 35-45 pounds and that is not cut-and-wrapped meat, which is more like 20 pounds of meat ready to sell. So $3/pound goes to slaughter before any money goes to printing my farm label, feeding the sheep, shearing them or paying my taxes – let alone marketing or advertising the meat. And don’t think about paying me for my labor….!
Despite years of talking, does Vermont have any real plan for an internet-based meat-available web site to help small producers like me efficiently and economically market my meat, reaching the largest possible audience? For helping other small farmers get up and running with their own label so they, too, can sell small ruminant meat?