Rebooting upstate New York agriculture, one slaughterhouse at a time

Liza de Guia, a New York City food blogger who shoots mini-documentaries on food from farm to table at Food Curated, traveled to the Catskills recently to make a film about small-scale slaughterhouses.

Here, in Part 1, she interviews Chris Harmon, the director of the Oneonta-based Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE), about the need for more slaughterhouses to meet the growing demand for local, small-scale meat. Harmon's group has been working with Larry's Custom Meats, a meat processor based in Hartwick, to build a new USDA-certified slaughterhouse.

An interesting tidbit from the video: Harmon bemoans the millions of acres of prime agricultural land in upstate New York currently lying fallow, and says if just ten percent of it went back into beef production, upstate New York would need between 50 and 75 new slaughterhouses the size of Larry's to meet the increased need for processing. That's a lot of jobs.

Stay tuned for Part II -- de Guia says it will "take you through the artisan slaughter process, step by step, to tell the story of 'transparency'."