USDA certifies Fairbanks slaughterhouse

Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2009

FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has certified a Fairbanks slaughterhouse to process beef and pork.

Tanana Valley Meats received its certification last week and planned Tuesday to commercially kill cattle and pigs, said Scott Miller, president of Agricultural Investors LLC, an investment group that took over the struggling plant about a year ago.

"I'm bringing in a load of Delta barley finished, all-natural beef," Miller said. "These are not grass fed, these are grain fed."

Miller owns Misty Creek Farm in Delta Junction. He planned to bring in 10 animals with an average weight of 1,200 pounds. Plant manager Stacy Hansen said he has another five to butcher plus four or five pigs.

Meat will be sold from a retail center near Mile 9 Richardson Highway.

Miller is one of 18 private investors who bought Tanana Valley Meats, formerly known as B-Y Farms, when the business was in danger of shutting down because of financial difficulties in 2007.

The group has been spent he past year to upgrade the plant and renewing its USDA certification.

Tanana Valley Meats is one of two USDA-certified plants in the Interior. The other is Delta Meat & Sausage Co. in Delta Junction.

Tanana Valley Meats is banking on an increased demand for natural and hormone-free meat, Miller said. All meat sold out of the plant will be free of growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics, he said.

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