Thursday, January 19
On our final day we visited Kane, one of the biggest beef producing plants in South Texas – since 1949. The Kane plant is a Temple Grandin design and the cattle are treated very well. If a truck driver, loader, or ANYONE mistreats an animal in any way they are removed from the business. Cows arrive daily, and they’re never there live more than 24 hours.
This plant takes the cattle from live on the hoof all the way to cryovaced and boxed in about 36–38 hours (beef must hang to chill for 24 hours before cryovacing). It takes about 6-8 hours to break down the meat, and Kane processes about 725 head a day. I was amazed to learn that in order to sustain our demand for beef, the US butchers about 300,000 head of cattle each week!
I grew up in cattle country and I spent time with high school FFA in sheep, cattle, and hog slaughterhouses. I am amazed at the changes that have happened in the industry since those days! This place couldn’t have been more different than what I remember. It was very cool to see how much has evolved for the well-being of the cattle, and also the processing itself. Even the safety has changed so much from when I was young. It was amazing.