Moonlight Meat Processing Inc. of Whitley County is one of the 103 markets across the Commonwealth accepted into the 2020 Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Certified Farm Market Program.
In joining the KFB Certified Farm Market Program, Moonlight Meat Processing Inc., has committed to offering quality products and service to their customers. Acceptance by Farm Bureau tells customers that this market meets the highest standards of quality, freshness, and marketing appeal, according to a Kentucky Farm Bureau release.
In addition to processing beef, pork, lamb, goat, deer and elk, Moonlight Meat Processing Inc. boasts a retail store which sells meat and other food items to the public. Its focus is on stocking as many local products as possible.
The facility has locally produced beef, pork, lamb and cheese, and is always trying to increase what is available. Moonlight Meat Processing Inc. is also a USDA processing plant.
Moonlight Meat Processing Inc. opened its doors on Oct. 2, 2017. However, the plant has been operational since the 1980’s under several different owners.
Anne Bays, the current owner, left Tennessee in 2011 and moved to Kentucky with the goal to become a full-time farmer, according to the Moonlight Meat Processing website.
In 2012, she became a vendor at the Whitley County Farmers Market. After six years she was selling grass fed/grass finished beef at the farmers market in addition to pastured pork, free range chicken, and eggs all of which were raised at Moonlight Farm.
When Bays first started, she had a USDA inspected meat processing plant about 10 minutes from her farm. After it lost its USDA Grant of Inspection, Bays purchased the processing plant. After doing a lot of cleaning and some repairs, she was able to pass all inspections to regain the USDA Grant of Inspection, and Moonlight Meat Processing became a reality, according to the company’s website.
Moonlight Farm no longer raises chickens, but still has grass fed/grass finished beef and pork that is marketed under its Moonlight Farm label.
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Certified Farm Market members around the state are implementing recommended best practices for keeping employees and customers safe during the pandemic. Our markets are working hard to provide Kentucky consumers with a safe and local food source, according to the Kentucky Farm Bureau release.
“As we reach an exciting 25-year milestone within the Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market program, I would like to thank all those who have been participating for so many years, and I welcome our new members,” said KFB President Mark Haney.
“It is such an important time in the life of our local markets as more and more people discover the benefits of good, wholesome, locally grown and produced goods. We look forward to another 25 years of continued success.”
Markets certified through this program are identified by the KFB Certified Farm Market logo and listed in our online directory. The program also provides collective advertising, promotional items, educational tour opportunities, and other marketing benefits with the intent to increase the net farm income of member markets.
The KFB Certified Farm Market Rack Card is available at Kentucky welcome centers, state resort parks, local chambers of commerce/tourism centers, and county Farm Bureau offices. Consumers can also go to the KFB Certified Farm Market website – kyfb.com/certified – for a complete list of markets or download the KFB App.