New abattoir close to being built here

A new $500,000 abattoir is closer to reality in the district after the Rainy River Future Development Corp.’s application for funding passed the first step with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.
The next step will be to raise $200,000 from community shareholders.
The RRFDC will hold a meeting July 23 at 7 p.m. in the Stratton Hall to garner support for the project from the agricultural community and district businesses.
“Basically we’re looking for 40 people with $5,000, then we can go ahead,” said RRFDC chair Telford Advent. “We’ve already got a number of businesses who have already pledged–about 25 percent without even trying.
“I’m optimistic it’s going to happen. It’s a necessity to this area,” he stressed.
The proposed plans would see the abattoir built on land owned by Sunset Ridge near the Emo Research Station for roughly $550,000. It would be built in accordance with national standards.
A more detailed plan will be revealed at the July 23 meeting.
“There’s lots of plusses to doing it there,” noted Advent. “The infrastructure is already in place so we don’t have to pay for it and there’s people there who are interested.
“This is not going to be a hole in the wall, it’s going to be a separate building,” he added. “A lot of work has gone into this already and we’ve had a good reply within six weeks from the Heritage Fund, which is unheard of.”
The facility is great news for the district farming community where, with the help of the Feeder Finance Co-operative, the beef industry is picking up momentum.
“For us in the cattle industry, it’s kind of the news of the year,” said Tom Morrish, president of the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association.
“We’ve seen a growth in the beef side of things and this will help to continue that growth. The dairy side of it is kind of disappearing,” he added.
The RRFDC has been working closely with the farming community since a privately-owned abattoir in Stratton closed in 1997.
“Actually they’ve been involved with our getting an abattoir since the last one went down,” said Morrish. “About two years ago, we were getting fairly close but just about the time we were going to get it, it was changed over from provincial to federal and the costs went through the roof.
“It’s a crucial link in the whole scheme of things here. We have to have an abattoir the way things are going,” he stressed. “With the Feeder Finance, there’s a lot more cattle going into the next stage.”