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Distance to slaughter, markets and feed sources used by small-scale food animal operations in the United States

  • A.L. Beam (a1), D.D. Thilmany (a2), R.W. Pritchard (a1), L.P. Garber (a1), D.C. Van Metre (a3) and F.J. Olea-Popelka (a3)...


Distances to common production and marketing supply chain destinations may vary, and this has economic and animal health implications for small-scale food animal operations. Proximity to these destinations can affect the economic viability and marketing decisions of small-scale operations and may represent significant barriers to sustainability. Data were collected using a cross-sectional survey conducted by the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Animal Health Monitoring System in 2011 using a stratified systematic sample of 16,000 small-scale (gross annual farm sales between US$10,000 and 499,999) operations from all 50 states. A total of 7925 food-animal operations were asked about the farthest one-way distance (in miles) to slaughter facilities, destinations where they sold animals or products, and feed sources. Across all small-scale operations, 95% of operations reported the farthest distance animals or products were transported for sale was 241 km (150 miles) or less. For distance to slaughter facilities, 95% of operations reported the farthest distance was 145 km (90 miles) or less. For feed shipped by a supplier, 95% of operations reported the farthest distance was 322 km (200 miles) or less. The 95th percentile for distance increased as farm sales increased, indicating larger operations were more likely to travel long distances. The results of this study are an important benchmark for understanding the economic and animal health implications of long transportation distances for operations that are small and/or focused on direct marketing.


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Distance to slaughter, markets and feed sources used by small-scale food animal operations in the United States

  • A.L. Beam (a1), D.D. Thilmany (a2), R.W. Pritchard (a1), L.P. Garber (a1), D.C. Van Metre (a3) and F.J. Olea-Popelka (a3)...


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