In 2017, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) entered into a cooperative research agreement with the Niche Meat Processor Association Network (NMPAN) to assess 20 years of public investment in local meat and poultry processing activities by AMS in the form of competitive grants. This work was completed in January 2019.
NMPAN analyzed 35 projects most relevant to meat and poultry processing including 12 Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP), 21 Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), and 2 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), totaling $2,113,983 in grant funds. The grants were awarded between 1999-2015. The analysis included a review of available project documents and interviews of past project leaders.
Please visit NMPAN’s research page to learn more about the project and read the briefing report.
AMS is working with NMPAN to write case studies and fact sheets based on findings from this research which will be made available to the public. The following case studies are now available.
- True & Essential (T&E) Meats (Harrisonburg, VA) (pdf) - Federal funding helps established red meat processor serve more farmers and provide value-added processing services.
- Southern Tier West (Salamanca, NY) (pdf) - Use a feasibility study to determine if new meat processing facilities are warranted, and identify ways to remove barriers for local meat producers.
- Miles Smith Farm (Loudon, NH) (pdf) - Small-scale beef producer aggregates cattle from nearby farms to introduce meat sales at local hospitals and other institutions.
- Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (South Deerfield, MA) (pdf) - Use a data driven approach to identify cost-effective solutions that have the most impact on the regional meat supply.
- Heart of the Valley Growers’ Cooperative (Corvallis, OR) (pdf) - Launch a meat producers cooperative to collectively aggregate and market your product.
- Ecological Farming Association (Soquel, CA) (pdf) - Utilize a rapid assessment instead of a comprehensive feasibility study to save both time and money while still providing key answers.
- Conduct Robust Research and Planning (pdf) – Obtaining a planning grant to conduct research and feasibility will improve project success and prevent expensive mistakes.
- Rapid Feasibility Assessments Could Provide All the Data You Need (pdf) – In many instances, rapid assessments will suffice and can save time, effort and money compared to extensive feasibility studies.
- The Right Stakeholders are Key (pdf) – Inviting and involving the appropriate stakeholders in the planning and delivery of a project improve the odds of success as well as long-term sustainability.
- Take an Expanded View (pdf) - Working up and down the meat supply chain and on a regional scale improves the success rate and positive impacts of meat-related projects.