Prairie Farmers Co-op Producer-owned Livestock Processing and Marketing
“Many of the large packers, for hogs or beef, have large, captive supplies of livestock and therefore are not competitively bidding for the livestock owned by the independent producer. As independent and small proudcers, we have increased difficulty in finding fair markets for our livestock. Beef producers face the costly predicament of sometimes waiting three to four weeks to engage a livestock buyer to consider purchase of their finished animals. Many times packers are simply not interested in purchasing independently owned livestock.”
Objectives: To research and design a project whereby small- and medium-sized livestock producers will own both their product and the processing and marketing operations. To develop a business plan and feasibility study to determine if there is a viable option for southwestern Minnesota producers. Surveys will be conducted with grocers and retail owners to determine their willingness to purchase Prairie Co-op products.
Results: A comprehensive market analysis study has been completed by Strategic Performance Group of Minneapolis and a business plan has been developed. Based on results of the market analysis study, the Co-op has forged ahead. They have located a processing facility and nearly completed financial arrangements for plant purchase and operation.