TICONDEROGA — One of the few animal processing plants in the Adirondack Park has opened in Ticonderoga.
Adirondack Meat Company’s temporary operating certificate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows only 10 animals a day for now, Co-Owner/Operator Peter Ward told the Press-Republican, but the permanent license will cover up to 50 a day.
The facility is located at 30 Commerce Drive in the Ticonderoga Commerce Park, and the 7,500-square-foot facility started operations about two months ago.
The $1.4 million plant was built using a $900,000 loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The facility definitely fills a need, Ward said.
“We’re getting local farmers, local producers keyed into it. The building was developed to handle 50 animals a day; not just cattle, but pigs, hogs, goats, sheep.”
The industry defines a pig as less than 120 pounds; hogs weigh more than that.
‘GRASS-FED IN DEMAND’
Ward said they’ve been getting inquiries from all over northern New York and Vermont since they opened.
“We expect the price of beef to skyrocket this summer. We have 11 people working here now; by end of summer we’re looking at 17 to 20.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on March 18 that in February, the price of beef had its biggest increase since November 2003. The hike is being blamed on a recent drought, a severe winter and high feed and fuel prices.
Ward said producers who raise grass-fed animals on organic farms are in demand.
“They’ll have the world by the tail if they raise a good, local product. People are buying it.”
‘FEED A FAMILY’
He said Adirondack Meat Company plans to market its own brand of prime ground beef at some point.
“We’re trying to create a signature ground beef that restaurants will like. It’ll be brisket and short-rib meat.”