Island Grown Farmers Cooperative, a co-op in Washington state that operated a mobile slaughter unit and a cut-and-wrap facility in Bow, Wash., has announced plans for a new processing plant in the Port of Skagit. The new facility, according to goskagit.com, will be two-and-a-half times larger than its current plant and will roughly double the number of animals processed over the next several years, said Phil Shephard, the co-op’s board president and a ranch owner in Friday Harbor.
IGFC says that it provides USDA-inspected mobile animal slaughter services to members and non-members in San Juan, Whatcom, Skagit, Island and Snohomish counties in Washington State. Meat cut/wrap, storage and some retail sales services are provided at IGFC’s facility in Bow. The business is owned by the member-producers and is directed by an elected board and its officers.
Shephard said the co-op has no room to expand at its current plant and has had to turn away new members. With other area processors also booked solid, there is not enough processing capacity in northwest Washington.
The co-op hopes to break ground on the new 4,500-square-foot plant in November and begin operations in the spring of 2021.
“I’m excited; it’s good fit for the port,” said Port Commissioner Steve Omdal. “It helps a lot of the smaller farmers, and we want to keep those smaller production business models viable.”