Farmer suggests using technology to increase on-farm carcass inspections
A producer of grass-fed beef has a suggestion he says would put more inspected meat on the marketplace and help alleviate the processing backlog.
Thomas Manley is an organic farmer and grass-fed beef producer from Spring Valley in western Wisconsin. He would like to eliminate the bottlenecks that prevent his product from timely processing like the shortage of cold hanging space and the difficulty of getting animals into a USDA-inspected facility.
Manley suggests using technology to allow virtual meat inspections. “We live in a world where we have virtual tools and we use them all day every day in the course of our work. There isn’t a good reason we can’t create a system of folks who are doing the slaughtering work and inspectors who are centrally located and inspecting those animals virtually.”
Manley says with good communication between the inspector and the on-farm processor, more inspected animals can reach consumers while mitigating food safety concerns, but he says state laws will have to change to allow virtual meat inspection.
Manley spoke to Brownfield during the Marbleseed Organic conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin Friday.