Meat & Livestock News

Empowering Small Producers: A New Horizon in Taos, New Mexico


  • The Taos County Economic Development Corp. (TCEDC) is launching a modular slaughter and processing plant in Taos, New Mexico, to boost profitability for small livestock producers.
  • The facility, named TCEDC Matanza, aims to process up to 25 beef animals a week in its first year, with plans for expansion and USDA inspection to allow local sales.
  • Initial opposition due to environmental concerns has been addressed, with community engagement turning some objectors into supporters.

In Taos, New Mexico, small livestock producers have long faced challenges in achieving financial viability. 

However, the Taos County Economic Development Corp. (TCEDC) is set to change this narrative with an innovative solution slated for operation by autumn. The TCEDC has secured grants for constructing a modular slaughter and processing plant on city-owned land near the Taos Regional Airport, promising a new era of profitability for local ranchers.

Mercedes Rodriguez, the executive director of TCEDC, expressed enthusiasm about the project, which has been in the planning stages for years. The facility, TCEDC Matanza, represents a significant stride towards sustainability and economic resilience for the area’s livestock producers.

Lucas Salazar, a seasoned expert in mobile slaughtering and further processing, has been appointed as the operations manager, bringing over 14 years of experience to the project.

Planning for Success

The facility’s infrastructure will include a comprehensive set of features designed to meet the needs of the local livestock community efficiently. With a 50-carcass hanging cooler, cut and wrap unit, mobile slaughter truck, and more, the plant aims to process up to 25 beef animals weekly, employing six individuals in its initial phase. This joint venture, supported by the town of Taos, Taos County, and the TCEDC, represents a $3 million investment in the community’s agricultural future.

Overcoming Hurdles

Despite initial resistance from some community members concerned about environmental impacts, the TCEDC’s engagement efforts have turned opposition into support. The project’s environmental considerations, including water usage and waste management, have been carefully addressed, ensuring the facility’s operations align with community values and sustainability goals.

A Vision for the Future

The TCEDC Matanza is more than a processing facility; it’s a beacon of hope for small ranchers facing economic challenges. By providing a local, USDA-inspected processing option, the facility aims to enhance the value of locally raised meats, encouraging sustainable practices and keeping the tradition of ranching alive in Northern New Mexico.

With plans for expansion and a vision for supporting a wide range of livestock, TCEDC Matanza is poised to become a cornerstone of the local agricultural economy.