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Forsyth packing plant soon to produce organic beef

Rocking Chair Ranch Cattle in Forsyth/Tiffany Thompson (WGXA)
Rocking Chair Ranch Cattle in Forsyth/Tiffany Thompson (WGXA)
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FORSYTH, Ga. (WGXA) -- So far, beef at the Rocking Chair Ranch Cattle in Forsyth is USDA approved all natural.

It's hormone free, which means it isn't tainted with steroids, hormones or antibiotics. But the beef is also grass-fed and finished.

This means it's higher in omega-3s because the cows live off grass their whole lives, which farmers say make it all natural.

However, soon, it will also be given the title of organic.

"As a little bitty boy it was always my dream to have my own farm and raise my own cattle," Joseph Egloff of the Forsyth ranch says.

Now, Egloff is on his way to having the first USDA or TA inspected animal welfare approved and organically certified packing house in Georgia. He says this means when you buy your meat, you'll know where it's coming from.

"The people buying our product will know that it's safe and been handled properly for consumption," Egloff said.

Egloff says this plant means the product will go straight from the local farmer to the consumer.

Macon restaurant owner Natasha Phillips says for her, this knowledge is essential.

"Knowing where our beef is and that they are fed locally," she says, "I think with allergies and everything that people have, it's just gotten more and more important for us."

Egloff says the extra title of being animal welfare-approved means he is doing what's best for his herd.

"The animal welfare approved organization that we participate in is simply because it's the right thing to do," he said. "More and more people are interested in how the livestock is treated. If they are going to eat meat, they want to know it's humanely processed and handled."

To get this qualification, an inspector will have to be present at the processing plant during all hours of operation. This to make sure the beef is handled correctly and humanely.

This plant is projected to open up this summer. So far, it's estimated to be about a $1.3 million investment.

But Egloff says not only will it help the local consumers, but also the local farmers.

He says he expects to work with about 40-50 local farmers yearly to help them process their beef. He says this works out to about 30 cattle per week.

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Egloff adds he expects this plant to bring in a half a million dollars in payroll. He says it will also create multiple jobs.

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