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Resources for meat processors expands

South Dakota Extension is working on online decision tool for those interested in pursuing ventures in the meat processing industry.

August 18, 2022

2 Min Read
Female butcher in shop in front of meat case
NEW RESOURCES: USDA is committed to diversifying and expanding meat and poultry processing. SDSU Extension is working to connect livestock producers and processors to these resources.Peter Cade/Getty Images

With USDA’s bold commitment to a more resilient, diverse and equitable meat and poultry processing systems, South Dakota State University is sharing these expanded resources to livestock producers and meat processors in the state.

Earlier this year, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a commitment of $1 billion in loans, grant and other resources to expand and diversify the meat and poultry processing capacity in the United States.

Christina Bakker and Amanda Blair, SDSU Extension meat science specialists, have been coordinating the project “Enhancing Producer Resources To Build Small Meat Processing Capacity and Local Meat Demand,” financed by a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant.

Through this SARE grant, Bakker and Blair are developing an online decision tool for those interested in pursuing ventures in the meat processing industry. When it is finished, it will be available on the SDSU Extension website.

Bakker and Blair met with Dave Carter, a regional director for Flower Hill Institute, in June to discuss how resources developed through the SARE project could be utilized as a part of the USDA technical assistance network.

“This is an important two-way street,” Carter says. “The webinars and resource documents that SDSU has developed through the SARE grant can benefit project organizers across the country, so we want to include those as a part of our online toolkit.”

“Over the past two years, we have seen a strong surge in interest in developing new meat processing enterprises,” Bakker says. “The grants and loans available are very important, but organizers of these enterprises also need ongoing technical assistance as they develop their business.”

Tech help

Groups working on meat and poultry processing initiatives are encouraged to submit a request for technical assistance through the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance request form at flowerhill.institute/usda-mppta

When the completed form is submitted, the Flower Hill team will review the request and connect the producer with the appropriate technical assistance provider. In some cases, Flower Hill may reach out directly to provide information or to obtain additional information about the request.

Flower Hill Institute is providing everyone requesting technical assistance with periodic updates on USDA resources, including announcements of new grant opportunities being made available.

As a part of this commitment by USDA, a network of organizations to provide technical assistance to groups accessing these resources. Other organizations providing the technical assistance include:

  • Oregon State University

  • Intertribal Agriculture Council

  • American Meat Science Association

  • Agricultural Utilization Research Institute

Flower Hill Institute is serving as the overall coordinator for this network and is working closely with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and the technical assistance providers to connect meat and poultry processors, USDA grant applicants, and grant-funded project managers to the resources and expertise best suited to support a project’s needs.

Source: South Dakota State University Extension, is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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