getting meat into local retail
I lost track of the thread but congratulations, RJG. Getting into retail is sort of the golden goose. The folks who were relying on specialty stuff going to restaurants and farmers markets and the like are getting killed.
BTW, as far as the regulatory environment, it goes all the way back to TR, The Jungle and al that. It is probably true that the advent of regulation was as much to protect the public perception of the product coming from the old mainline packers as anything but it was also necessary for the millions of farms that were sending their stock to Chicago, KC et al.
Meat and poultry really are almost unique in the potential impact on public health, so it is a real thing and necessary. But without claiming a high level of expertise I think the standardization of state and Federal inspection regulations is probably sufficient, or close enough to get there.
Whether true or not I probably have more confidence in locally processed poultry than stuff coming off the line of one of the big 3. There has been significant regulatory capture in approval of processes that make it more efficient, i.e., cheaper and more profitable.