“It’s the first of its kind… Many parts on this trailer had never been manufactured before.” — Mike Callicrate

THE SCOOP: Callicrate Cattle Company received its new custom-built meat processing unit last month. “This is a milestone. It’s a state-of- the-art design,” says Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate.

THE BACKSTORY: In 2011, Mike’s ranch began processing on-site with a demonstration trailer provided by the Socially Responsible Ag Project. Construction on a new unit started soon after. It contains many revolutionary features, including a hide puller and a section of the processing rail that rotates, making carcass splitting easier. “There’s also lots of interior lighting and two scales measure both live and hot carcass weights.” The trailer has been extended five feet to accommodate a carcass quartering section outside of the cooler and to provide a tight docking seal for loading into the transport trailer. The carcass cooling section is rearranged to be more efficient. A second hoist on the outside of the trailer allows a staging area for hanging up the next animal in line. “With four people, we will be able to slaughter 20 head a day,” he says. “Water use of 32 gallons per head will continue to improve; at the big packing facilities, it’s around 730.”

UP NEXT: Housing it in a new 65 x 100-ft. building will permit comfortable operation year-round.