What is in this article?:
- Locally grown meats getting more popular, profitable in Kentucky
- More demand than expected
- While many people only associate the local food movement with local produce and farmers markets, Kentucky producers of beef, chicken and pork are also seeing the demand for local products increase.
- David Burris, a farmer in Adair County, Kent., is relatively new to producing local meats. Burris got into the local food market five years ago after being a dairy farmer for 20 years.
KENTUCKY FARMER David Burris shows some of the products made from his beef at M&W Milling in Columbia, Kent.
More demand than expected
Wimsatt got into the industry in the past year after spending several years backgrounding cattle. He sells a variety of beef and chicken to a market in Louisville and a year-round farmers market in Springfield. He recently partnered with Spalding to produce and market value-added products including beef sticks and short ribs.
“There’s a lot more demand than I originally thought,” Wimsatt said. “If you can get the product processed and to the consumers, there’s a lot of people that want it.”
David Burris, a farmer in Adair County, is relatively new to producing local meats. Burris got into the local food market five years ago after being a dairy farmer for 20 years. He developed an interest in marketing his product locally because of the time he spent on the road as a cattle appraiser for the American Jersey Cattle Association.
“I’ve had the opportunity to travel and work in all of the lower 48 (states), and I’ve had an opportunity to eat in a lot of different restaurants,” he said. “I’ve eaten a lot of really good food, and I’ve eaten some that I really didn’t care for. I really like to know what I’m eating myself, and basically that’s how I got started.
Burris began producing only enough meat for his family, but then began selling to his neighbors after they became interested in what he was doing. His business was growing by word-of-mouth until he started working with Mark Meyer, the owner of M&W Milling, a local feed mill.
Meyer was looking for a producer who could produce local meat for him to market. In his feed mill, Meyer sells Burris’ beef.
Meyer said the demand is there, and he has seen his sales increase in the five months since he began offering the meat.
“We brought in this line of beef and pork basically to offer to our customers a very good quality meat that’s raised right here,” he said. “It’s been unbelievable the customers that have come in here and really educated me on what they want and why they want locally grown and produced meats. It’s very important to our consumers right now.”
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