It was originally a 24-foot box truck. Some modifications were made. It now has a 300-gallon water tank. It has saws. A tool to stun. The front of it is where the rail system is. The cooler, too. Prem Meats, headquartered in Spring Green, with a second location in Prairie du Sac, services, on average, 50 farms a month, with a number of them being repeat customers. 'We have several amazing loyal clients that continually utilize our services,' said Lily Cooper, head butcher for Natural Harvest and general manager of Prem Meats' Spring Green location. The Reedsburg resident said, 'Our clients range from the one animal a year that is harvested for family use, to clients that harvest five to 10 animals a month for state-inspected sales through farmers markets or their own storefronts.' The Natural Harvest slaughtering unit is on the road, meeting clients where they are to assist with their meat needs. ERICA DYNES Prem Meats originated in Bill and Sandy Prem's garage in 1972. Marty and Terry Prem, and their sons, took over the business in 2010. In 2021, they grew, expanding a secondary location in Prairie du Sac.From their father's professional dream originating in his garage, another dream has come out of his sons' garage: the mobile slaughterhouse. 'In 2016, Marty was approached with the idea to build a mobile slaughter unit,' Cooper said, 'and he saw a need for the service.' Mobile slaughter units are rather common but most are not state inspected which limits farmers as to how they're able to market their beef, hogs, and small ruminants.Cooper said, 'Marty worked closely with multiple people to design the truck in order to satisfy the requirements of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection. 'For the unit to be state certified it must hold its own HACCP plan. 'The state uses this as a guideline to ensure the meat we harvest is humane and safe,' Cooper said. The facility had to be designed in a way with all the same requirements for a brick-and-mortar facility would be held to.Cooper said, 'It meant a lot of creative thinking and hard work to condense into a mobile application. 'There are a slew of benefits in a mobile slaughterhouse. The USDA certified inspected meats slaughtered at the unit can be sold at local stores and restaurants; livestock is treated more humanely, as transport stresses are managed or eliminated; and transporting livestock to a brick and mortar slaughterhouse are eliminated.There are challenges. There is, for instance, Wisconsin's weather to contend with. 'Something as mundane as bad road conditions can really set the truck back,' Cooper said.The truck team also contends with different farm set-ups and the attendant challenges that come with that. 'We are truly fortunate,' Cooper said, 'to have a team that is excited to adapt to all the constantly changing risks and variables that come from being on the road, providing a valued service year-round. 'The unit serves much of southern Wisconsin but has travelled farther afield. Livestock owners pay for mileage fees.The operation is still fresh and it has a lot of mileage left to go. 'And the industry is always evolving. It's going to be exciting what the future holds.' Get the latest local business news delivered FREE to your inbox weekly.