RAY BROOK - The state Adirondack Park Agency approved the Adirondack Meat Company project at its June meeting.
The facility will be located on land next to the APA-approved Ticonderoga Business Park and in a former agricultural-use area. The APA said the facility is consistent with the character of the surrounding area.
It will be the first meat processing facility inside the Adirondack Park certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Once operational, it is expected to employ 12 full-time workers and two part-time employees. It is expected to support 24 full-time and six part-time workers in related industries.
Peter Ward, owner of the Adirondack Meat Company, said he's excited to develop the project in New York state and specifically in Ticonderoga.
"We believe there is a critical need for this type of facility in the region, and we look forward to helping expand sustainable agriculture throughout the Adirondack Park," he said in a press release. "The Park Agency quickly and diligently reviewed the project in six months, helping us realize our goals in a very timely manner."
A 2010 study by the Cornell Cooperative Extension found that North Country farmers have the potential to increase beef production by 137 percent.
"This new industrial use addresses the serious need for a meat processing facility inside the Adirondack Park," APA Chairwoman Leilani Ulrich said in the release. "Presently, a lack of this type of facility in proximity to North Country farms and the limited capacity of regional processing facilities has prevented industry growth. The development of this meat processing facility will support the expansion of the cattle production industry and local direct-market farming."
"The Adirondack Meat Company has the potential to be a transformational project for the agricultural industry, especially for small scale farming operations inside the Adirondack Park," APA Executive Director Terry Martino said in the release. "This facility is the important infrastructure component required to accelerate growth of the local farming movement. This is the right project in the right location at a most opportunistic time."
The meat processing facility will process a maximum of 10 animals per day, primarily beef cattle, but will also have the capacity to process pigs, goats and sheep. It will operate Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Since all activities will occur inside the building and no outside pasturing areas or waste disposal areas are proposed or authorized, impacts to adjacent land uses will be minimized, according to the APA. All renderings and by-products will be stored in freezers and collected weekly, minimizing any potential odor impacts from the facility.
A USDA inspector will be present on site and have an office in the building to ensure compliance with USDA regulations.