Cruse Meat Processing, the first large-scale, state-regulated facility in Concord dedicated to beef harvesting, officially opened for business July 2012. The $1.2 million, 4,546 square-foot facility is owned and operated by the Cruse family. Located on Rimer Road in Concord, the new facility received some funding from the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. The project is part of the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners’ Sustainable Community Initiative, as it offers farmers a local option for slaughtering and processing their livestock which in turn can be sold in local markets.
Cruse is committed to the humane slaughtering and processing of meat, mostly cattle and swine. Cabarrus County’s largest farm commodity is cattle with close to 7,000 head raised in 2011 (Cabarrus County Extension). Previously, farmers would have to travel to facilities as far away as Gibsonville or North Wilkesboro. Having access to a local processing facility reduces expenses for farmers which in turn reduces costs for local consumers and increases access of locally produced meat.
The Cruse family has operated Cruse Meats at the same location since 1973. Cruse and his son’s, Eddie and Mark, and their families will help run the new processing facility. The meat will be processed, packaged and labeled for farmers to sell, mainly through CSAs or farmer’s markets. County extension agents anticipate hundreds of cattlemen throughout a 10-county area will take advantage of the local processor. Farmers can find out more information about processing their cattle or swine, by contacting Cruse at 704-786-8616.
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