A small animal processing facility, at which sheep and goats will be raised and slaughtered upon immediate pickup, has been approved by the Morgan County Board of Commissioners (BOC).
The BOC unanimously voted to approve the request for the conditional use from Robert Glosson Jr. to operate the animal processing facility out of 1311 Apalachee Road on Tuesday, Nov. 6, which the County Planning Commission also recommended for approval.
“We have been needing something like this,” said Commissioner Andy Ainslie, before voting to approve it.
Commissioner Ben Riden stressed that this facility would not be storing meat from the animals.
“This isn’t like a packing thing, it’s just for individual sales,” said Riden.
Glossen, a lifetime farmer who operates Glosson Farms, will utilize a small portion of Jimmy Sidwell’s Dairy barn for the new facility.
“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 wrote in a letter to the county.
According to Glosson, his farm uses “healthy, antibiotic-free livestock” that will be processed at the facility for meat quality and sanitary assurance.
“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 noted that any customers wanting to purchase meat will be seen 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. As previously reported by the Morgan County Citizen, 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.
The County Planning Commission noted that Glosson’s new venture fell in line with the future goals of the county.
“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.
“It meets all the criteria of the comprehensive plan, it’s in the Ag district…” said Planning Commission member Connie Booth.
“There’s no place that I’m aware of around, close by here that does anything close to what you’ve proposed to do,” Planning 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 Planning Commissioner Scott Campbell.