Advancing Mobile Meat Slaughter and Processing In Ohio and Central Appalachia
ABOUT THE PROJECT
ACEnet and collaborators Angela Blatt, Paul Dorrance, and Rachel Tayse completed a USDA Local Foods Promotion Program (LFPP) project, “Planning to Advance Mobile Meat Slaughter and Processing in Ohio and Central Appalachia” from September 2020 – March 2022.
Demand for local meat continues to grow, but bottlenecks in the local meat value chain, especially the limited processing capacity, inhibit the market opportunities for livestock farmers in Ohio and Central Appalachia. This 18-month planning project tested the need for an additional local meat value chain intervention that serves red meat livestock farmers, processors, and consumers.
The primary activities of the project were to assess the feasibility of mobile meat slaughter and processing for small-scale family farmers in Ohio and Central Appalachia; develop a network of interested producers, processors, and consumers; and create the necessary organizational and financial plans for a cooperative business to meet the identified needs.
The first step of the planning project was to thoughtfully consider alternative livestock processing options to determine the needs. A needs assessment survey helped us define opinions related to locally-sourced meat and meat processing from consumers, farmers, and processors. 231 farmers, consumers, and processors completed the electronic Needs Assessment survey between May 13, 2021 to August 14, 2021. This survey, and guidance from a Focus Group of 5 producers, processors, and retailers, guided the remaining project activities detailed below:
September 16th, 2021, the Project Team attended the virtual “The Meating: A Regional Meat Marketing and Processing Summit,” at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center in Columbus to discuss this project and the results of of the earlier needs assessment survey.
November 8, 2021, the Project Team presented ‘Mobile Meat: Exploring Innovative Solutions to Slaughter and Processing’ during the annual Ohio Food Policy Summit.
December 8, 2021, the project team presented “Is Mobile THE Solution for America’s Meat Processing Bottleneck?” during the annual Acres U.S.A. conference in Cincinnati, OH
February 19, 2022, the project team presented “Where’s the Beef? Current Needs, Creative Solutions, and Cooperative Opportunities in Regional Red Meat Processing” during the annual Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association conference in Dayton, OH
March 18, 2022, the project team presented “Where’s the Beef? Current Needs, Creative Solutions, and Cooperative Opportunities in Regional Red Meat Processing” during the monthly virtual convening host by Ohio Food Policy Network.
PROJECT REPORTS & MEDIA
Mobile Processing Unit Considerations for Farmers Fact Sheet – downloadable PDF
Advancing Mobile Meat In Appalachia Project Fact Sheet – downloadable PDF
Feasibility Study – downloadable pdf
Interactive Southeastern Ohio Processing Map
Business Plan – downloadable pdf
Where’s the Beef? Current Needs, Creative Solutions, and Cooperative Opportunities in Regional Red Meat Processing – Ohio Food Policy Network Blog Post
If you would like to participate in this effort, or just keep tabs on our progress over the next year, please click the button below to complete our contact form and we’ll stay connected.
We gratefully acknowledge USDA for funding this project and Focus Group members Duncan Forbes, Chelsea Gandy, Erin Harvey, Chris Quolke, and Lyndsey Teter for their project design guidance.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Infrastructure Consultant (IC) Angela Blatt is Director of Research & Technical Assistance with the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA). Angela focuses on defining and characterizing components of the “Food System Asset Class,” and exploring opportunities for advancement of local and regional food systems using development finance tools. Angela collaborates with communities across the country providing technical assistance and producing strategic plans for development finance strategies that meet infrastructure, agriculture, and small business needs. As a Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP), Angela co-leads CDFA’s Food Systems Finance Advisory Council, joining the food and finance industries. She also administers CDFA’s Food System Finance Webinar Series, connecting food-related businesses and projects with development finance agencies. Angela previously directed the stakeholder engagement strategy for a National Science Foundation-funded Smart Foodshed Research Coordination Network. In that role, she characterized and mapped the interrelated relationships and material flows between food system actors.
A Navy Veteran, Angela holds two degrees from The Ohio State University: a Master of Public Administration with a focus on Food Policy from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Science from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
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Producer Consultant (PC) Paul Dorrance is the author of Farming Without Losing Your Hat – A Practical Guide to the Brutal Realities of the Best Job in the World. He is also a speaker, consultant and regenerative agriculture advocate. He was raised close to the land, growing up on a small self-sufficient homestead in upstate New York. His journey back to farming started in 2013 when he started Pastured Providence Farmstead – a successful pasture-based livestock operation, marketing 100% grass-fed beef and lamb, as well as pastured non-GMO pork, poultry, and eggs directly to consumers in southern and central Ohio. Paul writes for Acres, U.S.A. and speaks at agricultural conferences and gatherings around the country. Previously an active duty Air Force officer, Paul still serves our nation as a pilot in the Air Force Reserves. He was a previous Chairman of the American Farm Bureau’s Issue Advisory Committee on Organic and Direct Marketing, served on the board of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, sat on the Steering Committee of the “Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land” initiative, and is a graduate of Ohio Farm Bureau’s “AgriPOWER” leadership development program. Paul holds a BA in Aviation Computer Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (2001) and a MA in Military History – Civil War, American Military University (2009).
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Consumer Consultant (CC) Rachel Tayse is a vocal Ohio local food advocate and educator. In addition to nearly a decade of organic market farming experience, she’s made a career of facilitating projects that benefit small, sustainable agriculture producers. Rachel is currently part of the consulting team for the Advancing Mobile Meat in Appalachia planning project, facilitates Fresh For All, a food pantry local sourcing initiative and recently wrapped up Food For Thought, a creative agrarian story-telling project.
Rachel worked as the Begin Farming Program Coordinator at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association from 2019-2021. She is a past chapter leader of Central Ohio Young Farmers (2016-2019), board member of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (2015-2019), and currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Franklin County Local Food Council and Ohio Nutrition Incentive Network. Rachel holds a BA in Geological Sciences from The Ohio State University (2002).
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