Meat and Poultry Processing Kansas

Progress report for MPP23-001

Project Type: Meat and Poultry Processing
Funds awarded in 2023: $410,000.00
Projected End Date: 05/31/2027
Grant Recipient: Kansas State University
Region: National
Lead State: Kansas
Project Leader:
Elizabeth Boyle
Kansas State University
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Project Information


Kansas State University is the working group leader that will facilitate local training and outreach programs in the North Central SARE region of the United States. This working group will serve as a regional network to develop additional training for producers seeking to gain entry into a meats business, and for existing businesses to train their workforce, especially hands-on opportunities to supplement online learning. In collaboration with Extension Specialists in the SARE North Central Region and the LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law they will develop written and online educational resources for producers and processors to assist them with regulation compliance. In collaboration with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, funding will help support an inaugural Midwest Meat Summit. Other educational in-person workshops and training will be developed by Kansas State University for producers and processors in the North Central Region. 



Project Objectives:

Project Goals

  1. Support the development of training opportunities and educational materials about meat and poultry processing for place-based needs, especially relationships between farmers and processors. Information will be relevant to the needs of small- or medium-farmers and ranchers, historically underserved individuals and communities, and production systems that include fisheries and other animal operations that are important to diverse cultures.
  2. Address demand from niche markets like small flocks/herds, mobile processing units, local fisheries, on-site processing, farm-to-fork eateries and boutique grocers including those that are maintained by historically underserved producers and communities.



Training programs:

This subaward supports two graduate students over the term of the project who will gain hands-on experience in a USDA FSIS inspected meat laboratory, as well as in-depth knowledge on the science of meat and meat processing, or in the area of legal research with agricultural law (1 at Kansas State University and 1 at LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law, University of Arkansas School of  Law). Efforts will be made to identify potential graduate students with an interest in working directly with producers and processors on education and training, or in agricultural law. Kansas State University graduate students will be involved in Extension processing and regulation workshops held by Kansas State University and be available to assist with training and workshops held by Extension Specialists in the North Central region, and with other training opportunities such as through the Wallace Center at Winrock International in cooperation with Practical Farmers of Iowa.

  1. In-person meetings – provide opportunities for collective information sharing and networking for a larger community beyond the working group (e.g., workshops, conferences, etc.).

Educational in-person workshops and trainings will be developed by Kansas State University, and a conference will be developed and held through the Wallace Center at Winrock International and Practical Farmers of Iowa for producers and processors in the North Central Region. In addition, a list of trainings held by other institutions and groups will be assembled and listed on a website hosted through Kansas State University.

Training that will be held with support from this subaward include:

  1. HACCP workshops

            A minimum of 2 in-person HACCP workshops will be held annually in the North Central Region to educate processors and producers entering the processing business on HACCP, a mandated food safety program for meat and poultry processors. These 2.5 day workshops are accredited by the International HACCP Alliance and are taught by Lead HACCP Alliance Instructors.

  1. Midwest Meat Processing Workshop

            At least once annually, a one-day in-person processing workshop will be held to update processors and producers on current topics associated with the meat industry, offer processing and/or cutting by current processors, and updates on government regulations.

  1. Meat Cutting Workshop

            A 2-day meat cutting workshop will be developed and held to demonstrate how beef and hog carcasses are cut into primals, subprimals, and retail cuts. This workshop will be held twice during the subaward period. Given the high cost of holding this type of workshop, participants will be provided the opportunity to cut primals/subprimals into retail cuts instead of participants breaking down a carcass.

  1. This subaward will also support, in-part, the inaugural Midwest Meat Summit. This summit is inspired by the Carolina Meat Conference and will gather attendees throughout the Northcentral SARE Region for a two-day event in early 2025. The summit will target an attendance of at least 150 people, with small to medium sized livestock producers making up 50% of attendees and the remaining seats prioritizing meat processors and value chain businesses from the region. Through a variety different sessions focused on topics popular with livestock producers and meat processors (including regulatory requirements, enterprise planning, meat cutting demonstrations, etc.), the summit will highlight opportunities for livestock producers to grow profitable enterprises that produce and sell nutritious, environmentally sound meats to local and regional markets. This will include how to effectively work with processors, buyers, chefs, and other businesses and customers. Outside of sessions, attendees will be invited to sign up for free 20-minute “curbside consulting” sessions with a variety of subject matter experts including business planners, marketing professionals, food safety experts, government officers, and more. These consultations will help attendees get their specific questions answered and provide a clearing house for technical assistance. The Midwest Meat Summit will also feature networking sessions, including a sellers and buyers match-making session to encourage new business relationships between producers, processors, and other businesses in attendance, and an exposition hall where agencies, companies, and other groups can provide information. The summit may be offered in tandem with an existing agriculture event in the region, so support cost-efficiency. As a result of the summit, small to medium livestock producers in the Northcentral SARE Region will be better informed about how to effectively engage with meat processors and other businesses to move their animals and products to market in an efficient and profitable way.

The Midwest Meat Summit will be hosted in collaboration with The National Meat Summit Steering Committee and partner organizations in the Northcentral SARE region, including Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Wallace Center.  The National Meat Summits Steering Committee is a growing collaboration, composed of livestock specialists, meat, animal and social scientists, and other professionals from university Extension, and agricultural advocacy and support organizations.  A list of partner participants for the summits can be viewed at National Meat Summits works to build connections, increase knowledge, grow collective skills, and advance market opportunities for local and regional meat supply chains in the United States with long-term viability in mind. As a subawardee, we are committed to providing coordination and support for regional meat summits that serve many segments and scales of U.S. local and regional meat supply chains. The regional summits will be strategic and coordinated educational and networking events for livestock producers, meat processors, distributors, retailers, and other buyers of meat products. We commit to sharing information, attending respective regional conferences when possible and participating in regularly meetings of The National Meat Summits Steering Committee to foster a collaborative, capacity-building approach supported by local, regional and national partners.


In person meetings:

All in-person meetings such as workshops, short courses, and the Midwest Meat Summit will be advertised online and through other media outlets. 

  1. HACCP workshops are taught in-person and include lecture and working group sessions for hands-on development of a HACCP plan.
  2. The Midwest Meat Processing workshop includes oral presentations by academia, industry, and trade association personnel, product demonstrations, and hands-on processing experiences.
  3. The Meat Cutting workshop will include oral presentations, product cutting demonstrations, and hands-on cutting experiences.
  4. The Midwest Meat Summit will include oral presentations by a variety of individuals and consulting opportunities.

Educational & Outreach Activities

2 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

41 Farmers/ranchers/processors participated
7 Ag professionals participated
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.