University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Farm to Campus

Farm to Campus
Gregg Rentfrow, Ryan Chaplin, Zlatan Prosovic, and Scott Kohn

The University of Kentucky Executive Chef Scott Kohn strives to source as much local foods to feed the over 28,000 students on campus, as possible. In 2006, Chef Kohn purchased approximately $20,000 of locally grown/produced foods; during the 2011-12 academic years UK purchased over $750,000 of locally grown/produced foods. Some foods such as fruits and vegetables are easy to purchase; however, due to USDA inspection, local meats involves unique challenges. To overcome these challenges the UK Dining Services and the UK Meats Laboratory have team-up to provide local meats to the UK community.

Recently, the UK dining services began to purchase locally raised beef and pork. The live animals are harvested by a local meat processor and then vacuum packaged wholesale cuts are delivered to the dining service kitchens for fabrication into retail cuts. Chef Prosovic has been experimenting with making various charcuterie (dry-cured meat products) items from the trimmings generated from the retail cut fabrication. USDA inspection is required for the sale of these charcuterie items. Therefore, the charcuterie items, including the initial fabrication of the wholesale cuts will occur under USDA inspection at the UK Meat Science Laboratory.

The collaboration will give UK students an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience making dry-cured sausages that would normally only be discussed in theory or demonstrated in class. In addition, this program will help make UK more sustainable. This is the
only collaboration between a university meats laboratory and a dining service in the country.