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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.

Coordinators from all three states, in collaboration with Extension and NRCS partners, are offering training programs that will increase knowledge and skills in:

  • sustainable grazing practices
  • pasture management and infrastructure
  • techniques for year-round meat production
  • live animal and carcass evaluation
  • livestock processing opportunities

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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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Request from Penn State Dept. of Animal Science

Are you a grass-finished beef producer in the Northeast? We are seeking your input as we assess the sustainability of grass-finished beef production in the United States. This research is part of a beef industry sustainability assessment being conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The assessment is part of an ongoing effort to address concerns about environmental, social, and economic impacts of beef production.
We have tried to keep this survey brief and easy to fill out; it should require less than 15 minutes of your time. If you come to a question whose answer you don’t readily know, just give your best estimate. The information you provide is not traceable to your individual operation and all information we collect will be held confidential. Only overall summaries of the data will be reported.
The survey can be accessed at:
This beef industry sustainability assessment is not an attempt to force a change in practices or advocate a one-size-fits-all approach to beef production. There are few things less sustainable than a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, we are working to examine and showcase beef’s improved sustainability over time. If you are interested in learning more about this Beef Checkoff Research Program please visit
If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Jasmine Dillon by email at or by phone at 814-863-0883.
Thank you for your help in this important project for the beef industry!
Jasmine Dillon
Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Animal Science







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