Especially amid COVID-19 and the economic crisis it has caused, interest in the farm-to-table movement continues to increase, and more and more people are wanting to raise their own animals to provide meat for their families. But, when it’s time to butcher the animals, certain protocols need to be followed to ensure food safety. Tuesday, June 23, 10-11:30 a.m. PST, Extension will host a free online session to provide information on best practices to safely harvest and process meat animals at home. There will also be plenty of time for questions and discussions.
The session, titled “Home Meat Processing (aka: Backyard Butchering),” will feature:
- Mike Holcomb, sales manager at Sinclair Family Farms in Placer County, California. Holcomb was raised in Douglas County, Nevada, and spent 10 years with Wolf Pack Meats, part of the Experiment Station at the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources. He also spent 10 years with Butcher Boy Meats in Reno-Sparks, where he honed his skills with specialty items and smoked meats. At Sinclair Family Farms, he is working with Karin Sinclair to bring Carson Valley Meats to the area to help meet local meat harvest and processing needs.
- Lyda Garcia, assistant professor and meat science specialist at The Ohio State University. Raised in rural south Texas, Garcia was constantly involved in various aspects of raising livestock. Before joining Ohio State in 2015, she a was a visiting assistant professor at Texas Tech University, where she taught meat science and traveled to Central America and Mexico as a food-safety team member to collect and process samples for E. coli and Salmonella in beef and pork processing plants and markets. Currently, Garcia teaches meat science students at the university, as well as presenting at workshops and clinics, and judging at events, specifically targeting youth and livestock producers.
The session is part of an online series, “Agriculture: Living Beyond a Pandemic,” being organized and presented by Lindsay Chichester, Extension educator in Douglas County, Nevada, for University of Nevada, Reno Extension. The sessions are offered via Facebook Live, with Chichester opening each one with an introduction about the topic, followed by brief presentations by the speakers. Then, the majority of each session is driven by questions from participants.
Known as “Dr. Lindsay” to many in the country’s agriculture industry and on social media, Chichester grew up on a cattle and sheep ranch in northern California, and then earned a master’s degree in animal science and a doctorate in agricultural sciences.
“As more meat-eaters want to know that what they are eating has been raised wholesomely and safely, they are becoming interested in raising their own animals,” she said. “This is a great way to supplement our local food supply, but we just want people to know how to process their meat to prevent any foodborne illnesses,” she says.
For the link for the June 23 session, and details on future sessions, visit the "Agriculture: Living Beyond a Pandemic" program page . The next session will be on July 7 and will focus on managing stress and mental health wellness. For more information, email Chichester or call 775-782-9960 (leave a message and she will call you back).