Mobile Meat Processing Unit

In 2009 the Pierce Conservation District purchased a USDA-capable mobile slaughter unit to assist the farmers of the South Puget Sound region. This mobile unit is leased to Puget Sound Processing, LLC.
 The unit is used to supply local meat to local consumers with USDA approval, and has also been used to train local youth who are interested in agriculture as a way of life in how to properly prepare and process meat products. The Conservation District continues to work with Puget Sound Processing, LLC to ensure that the unit is used effectively to provide benefit to the producers, consumers and taxpayers of Pierce County.

Access the fall edition of the Tahoma View (PDF) for a recap article of the ribbon cutting event.

Project Information
The USDA Mobile Meat Processing Unit is a regional project to provide and strengthen the infrastructure needed to allow local farmers to market local USDA meat to local consumers. Deteriorating agricultural infrastructure and few options for USDA certified meat processing drive the mission behind the development of a USDA Mobile Meat Processing Unit (MMPU). With only a handful of operating USDA certified facilities throughout Washington State, many local small-to-mid-scale farmers have little to no access to USDA processing and therefore little access to local retail markets for their products.

Designed to help farmers access local retail markets, such as farmers markets, restaurants, and other retail outlets, this project will help increase agricultural profitability while keeping farmers on their land farming. In a effort to revitalize an age-old industry by replacing a missing piece of necessary infrastructure, energizing and reviving the remaining elements (i.e. local butcher shops and butchers), and providing a missing product, “Local Meat for Local Meals.” This tool will provide farmers greater control over production schedules and costs, quality of end product, and retail price. Additionally, this tool will provide purchasers and consumers greater control over the quality, cut, and availability of local meat. Benefits of this project include increased food safety, support for humane and sustainable livestock production, and increased local dollars circulating within the communities in which they were generated.

A USDA MMPU is a tractor/trailer (in our case it is a 45-foot long Unit built by TriVan Truck Body, LLC in Ferndle, WA) designed to meet USDA specifications which travels to local farms and ranches to process animals. The MMPU then transports the animal carcasses to a cut and wrap facility for further processing. The MMPU is self-contained and is manned with a crew of trained processing personnel, including a USDA inspector. This Unit is based in Pierce County and is anticipated to serve producers in Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Lewis, and Mason Counties.
More Information
For more information on this project, please contact Puget Sound Processing, LLC at 253 254-1903.
News Coverage
The Mobile Meat Processing Unit was featured on PBS NewsHour. View the video.

A mean storage container with wires hanging from the ceiling