Goshen man in­vests it all in new abat­toir

The Casket - - Local - AARON BESWICK com­mu­ni­ties@her­ald.ca

Some­thing im­por­tant re­cently hap­pened in Goshen.

Two cows were killed and pro­cessed at a new Guys­bor­ough County abat­toir.

J.E.G Meats is the prod­uct of a fa­ther and his two sons cre­at­ing op­por­tu­nity for them­selves and for small farm­ers in north­ern

Nova Sco­tia.

“Look, we did a proper busi­ness plan but, re­ally, I fig­ured if I built this place, once word got out it would be like that movie Field of Dreams,” said Jim Sin­clair on Fri­day (Oct. 26).

It had bet­ter be, be­cause Sin­clair and his sons Gar­rett and

Evan have put a lot on the line.

“I’ve thrown ev­ery­thing I had into this,” said Sin­clair as he showed a Chron­i­cle Her­ald re­porter around the fam­ily’s new abat­toir.

At 61 he’s put all his life sav­ings into the more than

$600,000 fa­cil­ity.

“It’s not just about me, I’ve got an­other gen­er­a­tion to think about,” said Sin­clair.

His sons, Evan and Gar­rett will be the fourth gen­er­a­tion on the fam­ily land in Goshen.

It’s the en­tire farm­ing com­mu­nity of north­ern Nova Sco­tia that serves to ben­e­fit from a new abat­toir. With Harold Fer­gu­son’s Abat­toir in Pictou County booked solid, some farm­ers from Antigo­nish and Guys­bor­ough were tak­ing an­i­mals to Amherst to be killed — a process that re­quired a five-hour re­turn trip to drop the an­i­mals off and an­other to pick up the meat.

“I’m hap­pier to see him start up than any­body,” said Harold Fer­gu­son, who has run an abat­toir in Bay­side for 31 years. “I want to cut back over time. I’m 63 so I’ve had my day. “

So Fer­gu­son and the owner of Dickie’s Meats near Amherst have worked with Sin­clair on how to de­sign and run his fa­cil­ity be­cause they see the need.

“It’s par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for small farm­ers,” said Glen Covey, who along with his wife Kim­ber­ley Tis­ley owns Glen­ryan Farms in South­west Mar­ga­ree.

Last Wed­nes­day, he drove 14 lambs to Sin­clair’s new fa­cil­ity.

While farm­ers are still al­lowed to kill, process and sell an­i­mals where they are raised through farm gate sales, if they want to re­tail their meat it has to be killed at an in­spected fa­cil­ity.

At abat­toir’s like J.E.G. Meats, provin­cial gov­ern­ment in­spec­tors look over an­i­mals be­fore they are killed and then ex­am­ines them from lymph nodes to or­gans af­ter be­ing killed, to make sure they are safe to eat.

The meat from Covey’s lambs has been presold so he could legally kill and butcher them at his farm. In­stead, he made two three-hour round trips to Goshen to drop them off and pick them up.

“For me, it’s a sell­ing point that they’re in­spected but it’s also in­sur­ance,” said Covey. “There’s noth­ing that’s not an hour and a half away from South­west Mar­ga­ree any­way.”

De­spite de­mand, it wasn’t in­evitable that there’d be a new abat­toir in north­ern Nova Sco­tia.

“I just wanted to move home and have a lit­tle place to cut meat,” said Sin­clair.

He had op­er­ated meat cut­ting busi­ness in Goshen dur­ing the early 90s and raised cat­tle on the fam­ily farm. But the re­al­i­ties of mak­ing a liv­ing in ru­ral Nova Sco­tia, while rais­ing a fam­ily, forced him to head west like so many oth­ers.

He spent 12 years work­ing as a heavy duty me­chanic in Al­berta, then packed it in and came home.

His sons came too and one, Evan, wanted to be a famer. At 16, Evan bought four cows and started slowly build­ing a herd. Now he has about 20, plans to ex­pand it and to run the abat­toir with his fa­ther and brother.

“I just wanted to be home and do my thing with­out depend­ing on any­body else,” said Evan.

Aaron Beswick

Jim Sin­clair is shown with beef, killed and cut at his new abat­toir in Goshen, Guys­bor­ough County. The fam­ily busi­ness J.E.G. Meats, which Jim op­er­ates with his sons Evan and Gar­rett, aims to meet a need for farm­ers in north­ern Nova Sco­tia.

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