Eric Johnson looks after the Angus cattle on Newhall Farm in Reading. Johnson says the grass-fed cows are bred to ensure the best quality meat.
"There's 18 cows in here with calves right now," he said.
Some of the cattle have just days before they'll be sold. Before, that meant auctioning all of them off. Now, some will be sold to Black River Produce. The seafood and produce company in Springfield has taken on a new venture: meat processing.
"They are sort of like a safety valve. They'll buy things that you might not have ordinarily been able to sell," said Ted Fondulas, the estate manager
And while Black River Produce buys meat there isn't a large market for, the company says it's all high quality.
"All the pigs' tails go to Misery Loves Company, Delicatta Catering gets one bone-in shoulder, and that's how we do it," said Sean Buchanan, the business development manager.
Black River Produce opened their new plant three months ago and currently processes about four beef cows a week, along with hogs and lambs.
"We really wanted to custom cut things for our customers and that's what they were asking us to do, you know, what better way to do it than to build a meat facility," Buchanan said.
The facility currently sells meat in Vermont and other states throughout New England. Before buying livestock to be processed, they visit each farm to see how an animal is raised.
"We have people who do pastured pork as well as mix barn and pasture-based pork. We have folks who do grass-fed green, finished beef, which we're big fans of," Buchanan said.
Once the animals are slaughtered, the meats make their way to the plant and are then prepared for shipping to schools and restaurants. Right now, only a portion of the building is in use. The $3 million facility that was once a Ben and Jerry's factory will transform as business grows.
"We think the greenest building is the building that already exists, so rather than go out and build a new building, let's go out and find one that we can utilize to our needs," said Mark Curran, who owns Black River Produce.
Black River says the plan is to continue creating jobs in Springfield while providing another avenue for farmers to sell livestock.
"It keeps us moving animals so that we're not holding onto animals and trying to find places to sell them or taking what we can for them," Johnson said. "It gives us options."
And another option for farmers means the local market for meat will continue to grow for residents in the Green Mountain State.
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:01 GMT
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington. Police say Grace Maddaloni, 88, disappeared Wednesday after what they called a "disagreement." Because of her age and being in theMore >>
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 7:07 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:07:19 GMT
IBM and chip production may soon be parting ways. The Wall Street Journal reports that Big Blue is looking to unload three chipmaking plants-- two in upstate New York and its Vermont plant in Essex Junction.More >>
With indications IBM may sell off its chipmaking plants, we talked to the company experts say may buy them. GlobalFoundries already has employees working at IBM in Essex Junction through a partnership, and experts say that could help the company decide whether the plant is a worthy investment.More >>