Community college steps in to aid N. Carolina turkey farmers

This Oct. 14, 2016, photo shows some of the food from a Thanksgiving dinner from Martha & Marley Spoon in New York. (AP Photo/Bree Fowler)

MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) — A community college is helping North Carolina turkey farmers process their birds in time for the holidays after the only Animal Welfare Act-approved poultry processing facility in the region closed last month.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the Western Piedmont Community College Sustainable Agriculture Program has received a special exemption from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to process turkeys for farmers. A release from the school says at least half a dozen farmers are planning to bring their turkeys to Morganton.

The shuttering of Cool Hand Meats in Marion had left farmers scrambling, as the nearest U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved slaughterhouses were in Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas and Alabama.

The state is granting special exemption to farms with properly inspected equipment through the end of the year.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com