The Adirondack Meat Co. hopes to be operational by late summer. Plans to construct the $1.4 million meat processing facility at the Ticonderoga industrial park were finalized when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $300,000 grant Dec. 19 as part of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
The Adirondack Meat Co. hopes to be operational by late summer.
Plans to construct the $1.4 million meat processing facility at the Ticonderoga industrial park were finalized when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $300,000 grant Dec. 19 as part of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
“We can’t break ground until all the paperwork is complete,” said Pete Ward, the project developer. “That gets us into January and cold weather. We’ll probably break ground in March or April.”
Ward said plans are to have the plant operational by mid-August, when the meat harvest season begins.
The 7,500 square feet plant is expected to initially employ a dozen people. It will include a slaughterhouse, a smokehouse and an in-house retail meat store.
Plans are to provide Adirondack-grown, grass-fed, organic beef and pork to restaurants and stores within an 85-mile radius. There are also plans for internet sales of beef and pork.
Permits for the Adirondack Meat Co. allow for the harvest of 10 animals a day. The plant will be constructed to handle 50 animals a day as Ward plans for future expansion.
Adirondack Meat Co. received a $900,000 loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in October.
It has all the necessary permits to start working just east of the Tractor Supply store on Route 74. It has approval from the Adirondack Park Agency, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and others. It has also been certified by the USDA.
Adirondack Meat Co. will be environmentally friendly, Ward stressed. There will be no odors because animal renderings will be immediately frozen and sold for use in pharmaceutical products. Hides will be shipped to tanneries. Nothing will be landfilled.
Employees at the plant will receive USDA-approved training and certification.
Adirondack Meat Co. has been in the planning stages since 2010. It went before the Ticonderoga planning board in February this year.
It will be the first U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified meat processing facility inside the Adirondack Park.
Ward praised local, state and federal agencies for their assistance in the project.
“Everyone of these agencies have streamlined their process to assist us,” Ward said. “They’ve held us to all the necessary requirements, but have been very responsive. I’ve been very pleased.”
The APA permit will allow the facility to operate Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Essex County development officials are pleased with Regional Economic Development Council award.
“Again the North Country has demonstrated a quality need with a direct economic impact while keeping within the region’s environmental limits,” stated Darren Darrah, chairman of the Essex County Industrial Development Agency. “The North Country Regional Council has done an outstanding job focusing on viable projects that will benefit the region as a whole. Gov. Cuomo and his team should also be praised for recognizing the North Country’s unique and extraordinary opportunities.”
“When Adirondack Meat Co. approached the Essex County IDA, we knew this was a win-win project for both the company and the region as a whole,” he continued. “Providing a state-of-the-art meat processing facility in the North Country has been a need for many years. This new company will not only provide a much needed service, but also entice agricultural operations to start or grow in the North Country.”
Carol Calebrese, IDA co-director, agreed.
“The Adirondack Meat Co., a new USDA meat processing facility, will help ensure the safety, reliability and sustainability of the North Country’s independent food supply,” she said. “It will enhance economic growth and posterity to the region’s agriculture heritage by improving the quality, quantity and diversity that will help meet the growing global demand for food, improving the agriculture lands, decrease operation costs and capitalize on the growing food movement.”
Karen Stehlin, the director of the North Country Small Business Development Center, played a part in helping the company secure funding.
“I want to congratulate you on being selected as a priority project for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and receiving the grant funding from Empire State Development and Ag and Markets for your meat processing facility,” she told Ward. “Your commitment to Ticonderoga and your ability to bring people together for accomplishing meaningful goals is amazing. I always enjoy supporting true entrepreneurs that benefit the local community. You receiving the awards from the ESD and Ag & Markets is most deserving and a credit to your business skills. I know that you will be successful.”