Minnesota Correctional Facility Opens Meat Shop – Agweek

SAGINAW, Minnesota – There’s a new meat store in town.

The Northeast Regional Corrections Center has opened its meat processing counter where people can buy beef, pork, poultry, sausage and more. All products were cut and prepared at 6102 Abrahamson Road.

NERCC is a 136-bed minimum/medium security facility on a working farm where residents can pursue vocational training in animal husbandry, carpentry, hospitality, mechanics and maintenance.

The retail store is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 1, when the store expands its Monday through Saturday operations. It offers smoked ham, smoked jerky, smoked chicken, homemade pastrami, pepperoni sticks and corned beef.

According to head butcher Matt Wrazidlo, the store’s biggest hits so far are the beef sticks and the smoked Polish sausage.

Matt Wrazidlo is behind the meat counter at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center. He oversees and teaches up to eight residents at the adjacent meat processing plant how to properly cut, sanity, debone, and more beef.

Contributed / St. Louis County

The opening of the meat shop follows the opening of NERCC’s meat processing facility in the fall, where Wrazidlo oversees up to eight residents, teaching them how to properly cut, sanity, debone, and more beef.

The facility’s new decor offers residents the opportunity to experience what a real commercial operation looks like.

Wrazidlo reported that after being released from the correctional facility, four inmates switched from working in the meat processing plant to secure jobs.

The state Legislature approved funds for the meat processing facility through bail bills in 2015, 2017 and 2020. NERCC acquired permits from the USDA and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, among others, to open the retail counter.

There is a need in northern Minnesota for a USDA-approved processing facility, Kathy Lionberger, director of the NERCC division, told the News Tribune in September.

Melinda Lavan

Melinda Lavine is an award-winning, multidisciplinary journalist with 16 years of professional experience. She joined the Duluth News Tribune in 2014 and today writes about the heartbeat of our community: the people.

Melinda was raised in central North Dakota as a first-generation American and the daughter of a military father.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from the University of North Dakota in 2006 and began her career this summer with the Grand Forks (ND) Herald. She helped launch the Herald’s features section as an editor before moving north to do the same at the DNT.

Contact her: 218-723-5346, [email protected].


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