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.