When a Virginia sheep farmer told small ruminant scientist Dr. Dahlia O’Brien that transporting his livestock to quality, inspected slaughter facilities stressed the animals and caused measurable decreases in meat quality, she took action. O’Brien, a Virginia State University (VSU) Extension agent and researcher, used a grant from NIFA’s 1890 Capacity Building Grant in the Extension Program to bring cost-effective processing facilities to rural sheep and poultry farmers. In 2018, VSU unveiled a USDA-certified mobile meat processing unit available to small ruminant producers. The mobile unit will save producers money and fits well with the consumer trend of favoring locally produced meat and poultry.
NIFA funds this research through the 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program.
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