Assuring Meat Processing Availability for Sustainable Livestock Farmers

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2022: $40,000.00
Projected End Date: 09/27/2023
Grant Recipient: Farmers Union Foundation's Solving the Local Meat Processing Bottleneck
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Paul Sobocinski
Farmers Union Foundation's Solving the Local Meat Processing Bottleneck

Information Products


  • Animals: bovine, goats, poultry, sheep, swine
  • Animal Products: meat


  • Animal Production: meat processing, meat processing facilities
  • Crop Production: food processing
  • Education and Training: mentoring
  • Sustainable Communities: employment opportunities, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    Minnesota Farmers Union and the Latino Economic Development Center are working together to expand opportunities for sustainable livestock farmers to serve the growing demand for locally-raised sustainable meat.  The constraint in the farmer-to-consumer system is local slaughter and processing capacity. 

    Existing lockers designed to serve individual farmers and their customers are booked out more than a year with the overflow of animals from the industrial meat production system.  Most report a shortage of workers to expand or even sustain their operations.  Many local lockers have closed in recent years due to a shortage of people willing and able to buy and run them.

    The Assuring Meat Processing Availability for Sustainable Livestock Farmers project is designed to directly address the shortage of workers, managers and owners of local meat processors.  The focus will be on recruitment of Latino and other BIPOC communities to these positions.

    This project will:

    * Propose a ready-to-implement apprenticeship training program for workers including recruitment, training structure, funding and placement. 

    * Design a post-apprenticeship placement and support system including plant acquisition and management, business plan development, access to capital, and immigration status support.

    * Create sustainable livestock farmer-to-consumer marketing training and support.


    Project objectives from proposal:

    Ready to implement meat cutting/plant ownership Apprenticeship Program 

    Arrangements for  pre-apprenticeship training.

    List of plants willing to host/train apprentices.

    Apprentice Recruitment plan in place.

    Plan to financially support apprenticeships and reward host plants.

    Post apprenticeship job placement system in place.

    Post apprenticeship BIPOC meat processing plant acquisition and ownership support system.

    Meat processing plant model business plan  for BIPOC and socially disadvantaged potential owners.

    Business plan for a sustainably raised meat processing plant with  farmer/employee/customer ownership including significant BIPOC representation.

    Farmer to consumer Marketing Program developed for socially disadvantaged farmers to sell their sustainably raised meat.

    Immigration status support system.

    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.