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Welcome to Meat Systems

A professional development opportunity in grass-based meat systems for agricultural service providers and farmers provided by the Northeast SARE state programs in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

2008-2011 Producing Natural Local Meat for Consumers

2011-2014   Grass Fed All Year Long

2014-2017 Health Care Practices for our Food Animals

-- a project to improve environmental quality by reducing drugs in meat production; enhance economic viability by reducing off-farm inputs and meeting increased consumer demand for local foods free of antibiotics and drugs; and respond to immediate public social concerns about the effects on humans of antibiotics in food animals. 

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Northeast SARE Connecticut Professional Development Projects

Health Care Practices for Our Food Animals


Close to 30 million pounds of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used in animal agriculture (80% of all antibiotics sold).  The 2014 PDP project assessment questionnaire surveyed 110 agricultural service providers, veterinarians, and university educators. Eighty-four percent (84%) of respondents stated that agricultural service providers and farmers need education about the use of drugs/antibiotics in food animal production.
The grant creates a Health Care Practices for our Food Animals Working Group that will design educational programs over the next three years for agricultural service providers to assist farmers with information and assistance from veterinary, university, and regulatory professionals to address the following key topics:


  • Insuring adequate drug protocols to treat sick animals
  • Antibiotic use and resistance
  • Identify food animal production systems that prevent disease and  reduce the need for antibiotics
  • FDA and USDA regulations for uses of drugs/antibiotics/hormones:

Grass-Fed All Year Long


Increased year-round production of grass-fed meat in Southern New England can help alleviate, if not eliminate, the problems of limited USDA infrastructure for slaughter and processing. While many farmers enjoy the seasonality of their current operations, others would like the opportunity to even out their income flow by slaughtering year-round. Workshops focus on strategies for year-round production, including: breed selection, forage options and use of baleage, rotational grazing, farmstead and facility design and maintenance, meat cutting and fabrication.
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Producing Natural Local Meat for Consumers


Consumers will benefit from the availability of locally grown natural meats and farmers will benefit from selling their meat directly to consumers.—these were the basic premises of this first three-year educational project. More than 7 in 10 farmers surveyed in our tri-state survey of meat producers reported they would expand their business if they had better access to a USDA inspected slaughter facility. Dr. Temple Grandin, notable expert in the humane treatment of animals, offered presentations to consumers, farmers and students that have already resulted in changes in the work of livestock farmers, processors, farm workers, and students.
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Maintaining and enhancing protocols to treat sick animals

April 22, 2016  10 am - 1 pm

LOCATION:  UMASS South Deerfield Farm
   89-91 River Road, South Deerfield, MA

I.   Katherine A. Beltaire, DVM, DACT
     Veterinary & Animal Sciences
     University of Massachusetts
Management of Anthelmintic Resistance on the
II.   R. Craig Jones -- Field Representative Agri-Mark
     dairy cooperative
     John Breakell – Field Representative Agri-Mark
     dairy cooperative
     FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible
     Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention

III.  Jennifer Hashley – Director, New Entry
      Sustainable Farming Project
     Alternative Production Practices to Enhance
     Poultry Health

      Click here to register

Contact Jean King

First World Antibiotic Awareness Week Focuses on Education
By Lydia Zuraw | November 17, 2015  Food Safety News

This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the governments of several countries want people to learn more about antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health today, and, while it occurs naturally, misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals accelerates the process.
Monday kicked off the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which is aimed at increasing the awareness of antibiotic resistance and encouraging best practices for using antibiotics in order to prolong their effectiveness. The campaign is targeting governments, health and agriculture professionals, and individuals.
WHO found that almost two-thirds of the 10,000 people who were surveyed across 12 countries say they know antibiotic resistance is an issue that could affect them and their families, but they don’t really understand how it affects them and what they can do to address it. More than 70 percent said farmers should give fewer antibiotics to food-producing animals, with China having the highest proportion of any country in the survey.



Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director CDC presented this paper at the
National Institute for Animal Agriculture symposium on
 Antibiotic Use and Resistance November 2014

Antibiotic resistance and the human-animal interface: Public health concerns