VSU Offers Mobile Processing Unit Certification Program

Virginia State University’s (VSU) is offering a certification program for its new Small Ruminant Mobile Processing Unit. The program will be held on Saturdays beginning Aug. 28 through Sept. 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to train producers how to use the new unit to process their sheep and goats for market. Only certified producers who have completed the five-module certification program will be allowed to lease and use the unit. 

The certification includes four online virtual sessions that will be held on Aug. 28, Sept. 11, Sept. 18 and Sept. 25. After completing the online sessions, producers must also complete a two-day hands-on training session at Randolph Farm at 4415 River Road, Petersburg, Virginia. The two-day session, which is required for certification, will be offered on Oct. 9-10, Nov. 6-7 and Dec. 4-5. Additional sessions will be added based on participant demand. Participants can select which two-day session they want to attend. The program fee is $100. Registration is required for every participant. To register, visit http://www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, click on the event and then click on the registration link.

Modules will include mobile processing unit design and usage; sheep and goat harvesting; carcass fabrication; state and federal regulations; marketing your products; and hands-on training on operating the unit. Participants will learn all the steps needed to ensure the equipment operates safely before processing, during processing, humane harvesting, carcass cooling/hanging and fabrication. A certificate of competence will be awarded upon completion of assignment(s), including passing a quiz and demonstrating required butchering and fabrication skills.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT ATTENDING THIS PROGRAM DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) will follow all current CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during this program. Additionally, all VCE employees and members of the public attending a VCE public program are required to: 1) wear a face shield or mask over their nose and mouth, 2) stay a minimum of six feet away from others, 3) wash or disinfect their hands frequently, and 4) stay home if they or anyone close to them have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms any time two weeks prior to the program or if they have been knowingly exposed to someone with COVID-19 two weeks prior to the program.

If you have any questions about this event or are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Tina Cabrera at tcabrera@vsu.edu. or call (804) 524-5836 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during the business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.