Local chefs, meat lovers and any one else interested in the art of butchery can now visit a "mobile processing unit" built by Portland meat distributor Nicky USA.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved unit — which took a year to design and six months to build — is a key part of Nicky USA's sustainable practices in his production of game and organic meat, founder and owner Geoff Latham says.

The new unit, which may be one of a kind in the country, allows him to work with smaller farmers, control the process and reduce transportation time and stress on the animals.

Many mobile processing units in the U.S. are exempt from USDA inspections, but Latham says he believes his is the only one that can process poultry and hooved animals under full USDA inspection.

Latham is currently using it to process rabbits and quail and will soon use it for goats, lambs, calves, elk, venison, pigs and a variety of poultry.

With the philosophy of nose-to-tail butchery, Nicky USA recently purchased a 36-acre certified organic Nicky Farm in Aurora, where they raise their own animals, host dinners, entertain guests and guide hunts.

The company, which started in 1990, just launched its “Nicky Farms” brand, which marks meat from their farm and other sustainable, family-owned farms. The label also includes locally raised rabbit, quail, goat, emu, water buffalo, buffalo, venison and elk. For more:

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