Search for Excellence in Livestock Production

Lyda Garcia
Assistant Professor Department of Animal Science

Garcia, L.*1,
1 Assistant Professor Department of Animal Science, , , OH,

The overall goal of this program aims to keep food animal processing on farm safe, while teaching the fundamentals of animal and meat science. I organized a team to provide an extension workshop program educating those involved with on the farm food animal processing. The objectives of the program intended: 1. To educate and explain proper practices of animal processing; 2. To exhibit impacts of livestock practices (i.e. handling, nutrition, etc.) on meat quality; 3. To familiarize with fabrication to muscle retail cuts and packaging; and 4. To emphasize the importance of food safety. Points of the program include animal welfare and handling, basic recommended equipment and supplies, antemortem/postmortem inspection, proper dressing procedures, good manufacturing practices, standard operating procedures, food safety to sensory evaluation of meat cuts. I begin the program with a virtual presentation on “what to expect”, by reviewing the steps to the harvest process. One week later, I, with my team, demonstrate the process. The program has reached various county youth agricultural programs (4H and FFA) and their parents (n=~50). Additionally, a video has been recorded demonstrating objectives and procedures as noted above to serve as a guide and as an additional resource. Also, I have presented (virtual) to various groups within and outside of Ohio (n=18). Lastly, I have written and released fact sheets that include: What You Need to Know About Animal Processing on the Farm in Ohio; The Legal Side of Food Animal Processing on the Farm; Talking Points: COVID-19’s Effect on the Meat Supply; Buying from a Local Meat Processor and Why it Matters; Factors Impacting Total Pounds of Meat from Food Animals; and Selling and Pricing Freezer Beef. Program participants have valued the information gained from the resources provided considering this topic has faded over the years since the expansion of large-scale meat plants. As this program is not intended to encourage food animal processing on farm, it aims to educate on the proper practices resulting in a safe product while exhibiting the process from farm to fork. This program has become a popular request by many in the state of Ohio.