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Workshops to explore producer options for small processing plants

marina_karkalicheva/iStock/Thinkstock Pork carcasses hanging in cooler
Series of workshops will include industry tours and case studies, regulatory presentations and financing and logistics discussions.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension is seeking livestock producers interested in opening and operating their own meat processing facilities to participate in a workshop series. The series, “Enhancing Producer Resources to Build Small Meat Processing Capacity,” will include industry tours and case studies, regulatory presentations and financing and logistics discussions.

“This workshop series is designed to give livestock producers who are considering becoming involved in a meat processing business an inside look at small meat processing plants and have candid discussions about what it takes to both start up a new business and keep it running,” said Christina Bakker, SDSU Extension Meat Science Field Specialist.

Interested participants should be willing to travel to tour locations and commit to two workshop events and four virtual meetings.

Those interested in more information or to sign up should contact Christina Bakker.

In July, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s intent to invest $500 million in American Rescue Plan funds – or the COVID package advanced in the early days of the Biden administration - to expand meat and poultry processing capacity so producers and consumers can have more choices in the marketplace. In addition, USDA will provide more than $150 million to strengthen existing small and very small processing facilities.

USDA plans to provide grants, loans and technical assistance to address concentration within the meat and poultry sectors and relieve supply chain bottlenecks by supporting new meat and poultry processing facilities. These facilities will create competitive opportunities for producers in local and regional food systems so that farmers and ranchers have access to better choices and fairer prices.

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