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MSU Home :: Academics :: MSU personnel attend ‘The Chop Shop’ ribboncutting

MSU personnel attend ‘The Chop Shop’ ribboncutting

  • Chop Shop 5-14 web

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Rep. Rocky Adkins, Rep. Hubert Collins, owner Jonathan Whitt, along with Morehead State University personnel and local elected officials and friends gather Saturday, May 17, for the official ribboncutting of The Chop Shop.

(View photo gallery)

Whitt, a Morehead State graduate, opened the processing facility last fall.

The Chop Shop is the largest U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected processor in eastern Kentucky and the newest USDA-inspected facility in the state. Its construction was funded in part with a $350,000 grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. The plant, located off the Lee City exit of the Mountain Parkway, also contains a retail shop.

"Jonathan works closely with animal science faculty in our Department of Agricultural Sciences. Our faculty seeks to improve the quality of locally produced livestock. This summer, our faculty plan to conduct a cattle feeding experiment where animals are raised, grown, and fed out at MSU before being harvested. They will be harvested at the Chop Shop," said Cary Green, professor and chair department of agricultural sciences.

"Jonathan has hosted several groups of animal science students from a variety of classes. Students evaluate livestock before and after harvest. The opportunity to evaluate animals post-harvest adds significantly to our students’ education and having access to the Chop Shop makes this possible.  Thus, the Chop Shop is benefitting students who will work in the livestock industry for years to come."

Whitt of JSW Farm in Wrigley had a dream to own a stockyard and a processing facility. He already owned Lee City Stockyards, so his dream came true last fall when he opened The Chop Shop.

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension agents were able to obtain grants and agriculture leaders from Wolfe, Morgan, Breathitt, Elliott, Perry, Rowan and Lawrence counties were able to secure the matching funds needed.

"This (The Chop Shop) gives MSU and ARAMARK an opportunity to greatly expand our offerings of locally produced meats for our “farm to campus” program that has been initiated,” said Bill Redwine, assistant vice president for auxiliary services.  “It’s not tremendously easy to meet all of the insurance and quality specifications required by the ARAMARK corporate office but The Chop Shop has done that and will be able to be a regular provider and processor of beef and pork produced not only at the MSU farm but also produced by local farmers."

Comer announced earlier this year that the minor league baseball team Lexington Legends will buy their hamburgers from The Chop Shop for the 2014 season.

The Chop Shop retail store offers a variety of fresh beef, pork, lamb and goat as well as many spices and is open to the public. It is located just north of the Mountain Parkway at the Lee City exit and is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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