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June 20. 2014 6:20PM

Possible Future Meat Processing Business in Lyndeborough

LYNDEBOROUGH — Businessman Dan Holt went before the Planning Board on June 19 to test the waters on his idea to establish a meat and poultry processing business in the apple orchard near his Center Road Business Complex.

Holt directed his “what if?” questions to gauge the board’s acceptance and address zoning concerns.

Besides processing meats and poultry, his vision includes having a storefront with coolers, and he said he might consider reopening a farm stand and pick-your-own apple business. Based on a rough concept, the processing building would be at least 400 feet back in the orchards. All animals would be delivered to the back of the building. It would also service hunters and their wild game. He said it could employ 10 to 12 people.

The meat and poultry processing would adhere to U.S. Department of Agriculture standards, he said.

The property is zoned residential, so Holt would need a zoning change to proceed, officials said. Also discussed was the close proximity of the far end of his property to the commercially zoned Brox property just over the Milford line.

Chairman and abutter Larry Larouche raised concerns about locating the business in a residential area and how to discard the waste.

Larouche used to work at Lemays in Goffstown, so he said he is well aware of the operations of a processing plant.

Holt said, “The state has a real need to build more USDA facilities as more people are raising their own animals.”

Larouche, who also raises his own turkey, pork, chicken and duck, agreed. “It’s hard to find a USDA place for poultry.”

The Schmechel family owns Bittersweet Farm in Lyndeborough. They raise cows, pigs and chickens so the possibility of a processing place on their road was appealing.

“I would bring my animals there. Right now I have to book months in advance for my pigs,” said David Schmechel.

They used to bring their animals to Blood Farm in Groton, but it is rebuilding after a fire. Now they use Blanchard’s in Bennington.

Kathryn Schmechel said she wants to know what she is feeding her family: “We want to know where our food comes from. We know what we feed our animals ,and they are raised humanely.”

khumphreys@newstote.com



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