Getting Started & FAQs

A note about COVID-19 Processing Impacts

NC Choices community,

As you know, many small processing plants are booked through summer, fall, or in some cases the entire 2020 year due to COVID-19 supply chain shifts.  We want to remind producers that “kill only” is not factored into that schedule calculation for most processors.  In other words, most farmers can still get an animal killed and can pick up the whole carcass at a local facility in a timely fashion for items like BBQ pigs or for customers willing to process their own meat.  The bottleneck is mostly taking place on the cut and packaged side of the processing business.

So, if you are experiencing delays with your processor, you might want to consider encouraging your customers to buy meat in bulk for quicker turnaround.  If they are not familiar with bulk buying, feel free to share the below resources with your customers encouraging bulk purchasing. – VIDEO

Why Buy Meat in Bulk – VIDEO

Freezer Storage for Bulk Meat – VIDEO

If you have not yet created a free profile on, a website where customers can find local farms selling meat in bulk quantities, check out this video to get started.

 Lastly, if you are located near a custom-exempt slaughter facility and are experiencing processing delays, you might consider having your customers purchase a live animal from your farm.  The customer can get that animal slaughtered at a custom-exempt facility for home use.  Custom-exempt plants do not allow sales of meat, so the customer (not the farmer) must own the animal and arrange slaughter and pick-up with the plant operator.  A list of local custom-exempt processing facilities can be found on the NCDA Meat and Poultry Inspection webpage here.  

~NC Choices Team

Getting Started with Local Meats

Note of Disclaimer: All efforts were made to provide accurate and precise information pertaining to the laws and regulations surrounding the sale and processing of poultry and of red meats in NC. Due to the changing nature of the regulatory system, it is important to verify the accuracy of these statements with the responsible regulatory agency, NC Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Inspection Division.