Tinian slaughterhouse in the works


A Tinian senator along with a local agricultural organization is looking forward to setting up its own slaughterhouse suitable to the island as it receives the pledge of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.

Sen. Jude Hofschneider (R-Tinian), in an interview yesterday, said that the Tinian slaughterhouse, a project backed by the Tinian Cattlemen’s Association and the Tinian and Aguiguan Legislative Delegation, has received the pledge of the governor for its $250,000 for a modular processing unit slaughterhouse.

The Tinian Cattlemen’s Association is an organization that focuses on the “wise stewardship of livestock and natural resources with sustainability in mind,” according to their social media page. The organization is led by president and former senator Jose Dela Cruz.

The $250,000 would be derived from the annual community benefit fund Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC pays annually for community projects.

“We are looking at [the slaughterhouse] plus [including] some of the equipment associated with [the slaughterhouse],” Hofschneider said, adding that freezer trucks, chillers, and more are also being looked into.

According to Hofschneider, Tinian’s production of meat is primarily for subsistence on the island. He believes that with the new slaughterhouse, it opens up the window for a possible meat industry based on Tinian as well as a new means of financial support for the cattlemen on Tinian.

Hofschneider noted that Tinian beef is grass-fed and well known throughout the Marianas.

According to a June 6, 2018 letter from the Tinian delegation, which Hofschneider chairs, the slaughterhouse would cost exactly $249,550 plus an additional $77,000 for shipping and handling.

“As a result of this commitment from the governor, we could hopefully…be able to sell our beef…in the shelves here in the CNMI,” he said.

In order to meet this goal, Hofschneider said the Tinian leadership is now working towards making sure the slaughterhouse is adequately staffed with Department of Lands and Natural Resources personnel that are U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified inspectors.

“We are working with the agency and the [Tinian] mayor to try and identify at least two to three personnel currently on Tinian to get them certified by the USDA as…inspectors,” he said, adding that the delegation would be providing the funding for the training of the personnel.

According to Hofschneider, the closest USDA training facility is in Hawaii. When asked, Hofschneider said the exact amount the delegation would allot is dependent on their findings.

“[The cost] is still something to be sourced up and then we will identify and commit the funds for that particular training,” he said.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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