Madison’s rocketing agritourism efforts are maintaining momentum. In a unanimous agreement, the Morgan County Planning Commission voted to approve a conditional use for a local animal processing facility.
Robert Glosson, Jr., a lifetime farmer and keeper of Glosson Farms, is seeking to operate an animal processing facility that will occupy a small portion of Jimmy Sidwell’s Dairy barn.
“Several families have expressed interest in this project and we feel that we can be very successful in providing a fresh and wholesome product from our farm to their table,” Glosson said in his letter to the commission.
Only Glosson Farms’ healthy, antibiotic-free livestock will be processed at the facility for meat quality and sanitary assurance. His farm is only a couple miles from the facility.
“We’ve had a big calling for people wanting fresh product,” Glosson said. “Everybody is saying ‘we are getting our lamb from Australia and its frozen, we want it fresh’…So I’ll raise these antibiotic-free animals and then once they’re ready, we’ll take them and have them processed.”
Glosson intends for the small operation to be by appointment only, requiring the customer to be on-site and equipped with a personal cooler for immediate transportation, which eliminates any need for the facility to house a meat cooler.
All by-products and waste from the processor will be taken to a rendering facility and all “wash down” will drain into the lagoon adjacent to the barn.
Glosson does not aim to create a factory from the business, but is simply “just trying to give a fresh product to the community” as a small family operation.
With no nearby residents to object or concerns from the community, the commissioners praised the proposal.
“It meets all the criteria of the comprehensive plan, it’s in the Ag district…” stated Commissioner Connie Booth.
“It’s a perfect match for what we’re trying to do here, because what we’re trying to do is promote small agritourism and agriculture and this fills the bill on all accounts,” Chairman Brian Lehman said.
“There’s no place that I’m aware of around, close by here that does anything close to what you’ve proposed to do,” Commissioner John McMahon commented.
“I think it’d be great if you do that and then expand it to a cooler and sell fresh meat that if I, on a Friday afternoon, wanted to buy something, I could go by and pick it out knowing that you’ve grown it, and slaughtered it, and I know where it came from,” added Commissioner Scott Campbell. The Board of Commissioners will review the proposal at their public meeting on Tuesday, November 6th.