A slaughterhouse opens Thursday evening in Cabarrus County. It's a big deal for many of the region's farmers. Until now the closest slaughterhouse was a long haul. Many farmers had to take their cattle to either Alexander County or Gibonsville, east of Greensboro. That much travel cuts into the bottom line.
"It's a stress on the animal to transport, it's time, it's transportation money, it increases the cost of the commodity that you're going to turn around and sell to the consumer." That's Debbie Baust, Director of Cabarrus County Cooperative Extension.
Small family farmers have long complained about a four to six month back log at slaughterhouses. That should no longer be the case with a large expansion at Cruse Meats in Concord. Previously, the company had only cut and packaged the meat that came from slaughterhouses.
Grateful Growers Farm in Lincoln County will continue to take cattle to Taylorsville, but owner Natalie Veres understands the excitement she's heard from fellow farmers closer to Concord. "I know farmers over in Stanley County who are just tickled pink about this new facility, cause now they don't have to drive to Gibonsville or to Taylorsville. They just go up the road a little ways and they're at Cruse Meats."
Cruse Meats is expanding with the help of a $675,000 grant from the State Department of Agriculture. The company expects to slaughter 25 cattle a day.