Expanding Local Meat Processing: A Policy Conversation About Growing Opportunities for Livestock Farmers
June 23 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am CDT
A persistent challenge for small and mid-sized livestock producers is access to small-scale meat and poultry processing, the importance of which has only been underscored by the pandemic and associated closures of large packing plants. Expanding local processing opportunities has long been a priority for Minnesota Farmers Union because it will help family farmers stay on the farm by growing and diversifying their farm businesses.
We invite MFU members, livestock producers and other interested partners to join us by computer or phone for an hour-long conversation with state and national experts on food systems, policy and meat and poultry processing. Come with questions specific to your farm, ideas for changes in policy and feedback and experiences that will help inform leaders’ thinking on this important issue.
If you haven’t yet, you might check out this recording of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s “ABCs of Meat Processing Webinar” from May 8, 2020, which might serve a helpful primer for this conversation.
Register here for our webinar. You will receive the link for the day of automatically.
Dr. Nicole Neeser – Director, Dairy and Meat Inspection Division (DMID), Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)
Mike Stranz – Vice President of Advocacy, National Farmers Union (NFU)
Jane Grimsbo Jewett – Associate Director, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), University of Minnesota (UMN)
9:50 a.m. Zoom Meeting Room Opens
10 a.m. Stu Lourey introduces panel and goes over brief housekeeping notes (1 minute)
We’ll end promptly at 11 a.m., but allow a couple minutes for side conversations
Put questions in the chat and I’ll unmute your line during the Q&A
Panelists introduce themselves and their work (3 minutes each)
10:13 a.m. Questions from the participants with Stu moderating
10:45 a.m. Stu wraps up questions and hands it back to panelists for final thoughts (3 minutes each)
11 a.m. Conversation formally adjourns
Potential questions (for the most part we’ll rely on questions from participants):
What work is currently being done to expand small and mid-scale meat processing in Minnesota?
What are the challenges facing processors that are keeping them from expanding their capacity?
How can farmers invest in on-farm slaughter? And what should they consider?
Are there legislative changes we need on the state or federal level to expand processing opportunities for producers? What about the PRIME Act?
Are there ways that producers can organize their business in order to take full advantage of the processing opportunities they do have?
If you have other questions ahead of time, send them to Government Relations Director Stu Lourey at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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