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Mobile Locker Plant Brings Processing To Farms
After years of planning, John Knott is looking forward to taking his Mobile Processing Unit around southern Maryland this summer for on-the-farm USDA-inspected slaughtering and processing.
  There is plenty of demand for his custom-built Grumman Olson trailer tractor and his slaughtering, butchering and wrapping services, which allow producers to make direct sales of individual cuts of meat. That’s because when Knott arrives at a location, he will have a USDA inspector with him.
  Knott’s service saves customers the cost of transporting livestock and offers them convenience.
  Knott’s truck has hot water to wash the cow down, a track to hang up to three cows or 40 pigs at a time, and a refrigeration system to cool the meat as he hauls it back to his Mechanicsville, Md., processing facility that was once a tobacco barn. After aging it, the meat is cut up, vacuum-sealed and frozen - ready for customers to pick up.
  Knott raises cattle also, and figured the mobile service would be in demand in the area for producers like him. When he learned commercial trucks cost about $250,000, he figured he could save money by custom building his own rig. Though his truck will cost less than that, buying one might have been a better deal in the long run, he says. Besides being bigger to haul more hanging meat at a time, it would have saved time and the hassle he’s gone through dealing with all the paperwork and regulations. For example, he needs a restroom for the inspector. Since his truck is too small for that, he needs to haul a camper with a restroom. Plus regulations require many specific features in the processing trailer - 165 Fº water, a holding tank underneath, and food grade hoses, for example.
  But now that his truck is completed, he is eager to get his mobile unit rolling through about five Maryland counties.
  Knott knows of about a dozen producers that sell meat who may be interested in his USDA services. Others, including many Amish producers who raise meat for their own use, are also interested in his services and won’t require the USDA inspector’s services.
  In addition to cattle and hogs, he will process sheep and goats.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Knott, Knott Family Farm, 38888 Reeves Rd., Mechanicsville, Md. 20659 (ph 301 481-0834; donnaknott@mris.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3