Photo Gallery | Adams Farm USDA approved
WILMINGTON — With its slaughter plant now federally certified, Adams Farm is looking at expanding its reach.
"That's an exciting development," said Tessa Adams, who works at her family's farm. "We're no longer Vermont-state inspected. We're USDA."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture certification means that livestock can be brought from places outside of Vermont. The farm hopes to gain more business from bordering states like New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. Also, customers can now bring the meat back to their home states and sell it. Previously, both actions were prohibited.
The farm's slaughter plant went into operation in May 2014. When starting out, the plan had included eventually becoming federally certified.
A post on the farm's Facebook account from April 2 showed the first USDA sticker slapped on some meat.
"We are now USDA inspected!" Adams Farm wrote.
Adams Farm butcher William Staats IV said state inspectors helped the farm get its federal certification.
"Luckily, we started off state-inspected and they really work with you a lot," he said. "They help you get your hazard plans set up. They come down and do site visits to give you descriptions on what they want to see."
At least 20 customers currently bring their livestock to the Wilmington-based plant for processing, said Adams. But now she expects the plant will become busy enough that people will have to book appointments a couple months ahead of time.
"We're working on getting the word out," Adams said. "I think we've notified all of our previous customers. Now, it's just changing everything online and making everyone aware we're USDA."
The farm provides meat to Cask & Kiln in Wilmington and Windham Hill Inn in Townshend, The Brattleboro-based Chelsea Royal Diner, Top of the Hill Grill and Vermont Country Deli are also customers. A few other businesses are expected to join the list shortly.
The slaughter plant had been looked at as a way to increase revenue at the farm. Keeping the farm running and within the family had become a major goal over the years.
Shortly after the slaughter plant went into operation, the farm began offering paintball. A course was built and approved for use by the Wilmington Development Review Board.
"That's picking up," said Adams, noting that a league formed last year and the activity has been popular among bachelor and bachelorette parties.
The farm is now planning to make guided horseback trail riding sessions available this year.
Contact Chris Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.