Watauga County Meat Plant Gains Momentum with Boone Town Council’s Approval

Efforts to establish a meat processing plant in Watauga County, N.C., are progressing as the Boone Town Council greenlights the provision of waste and water services to the project site initially proposed in 2020.

The initiative outlines the construction of a USDA-inspected facility designed to provide slaughter and processing services to producers across multiple western North Carolina counties, including Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Mitchell, and Watauga.

The demand for local processing services for beef and pork has grown, particularly in the aftermath of widespread meat shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. A grant application to the Golden Leaf Foundation, which initially awarded $1 million to support the project, highlighted the goal of eventually serving around 500 regional livestock and pork producers.

The proposed plant is slated to be erected on a 2-acre Watauga County landfill site beyond the Boone city limits, with funding amounting to $4.2 million sourced from various local trusts, Golden Leaf, and the Economic Development Administration, as reported by the Watauga Democrat. A construction timeline for the facility, set to be operated by the farmer-owned, USDA-certified Watauga Butchery, has yet to be announced.