Connecting, Strengthening and Scaling Food Supply Chains in the Northwest and Rocky Mountain Region

Building Meat Supply Chain Capacity

Strives to provide technical assistance and guide strategic investment in businesses and systems that will support local regional meat and other animal protein supply chains in project states and across the region. Through an advisory and consensus process, needs to promote success and resilience will be identified and appropriate assistance and investment directed. Early issues identified include, but are not limited to: labor development and training, higher-level skill development, improving plant efficiencies, promoting food safety and necessary training opportunities, supply chain coordination, and processing capacity in and for indigenous communities.

The Center will expand on current collaborations in the region to provide small and mid-scale meat supply chain businesses with the resources, networks, tools, and exposure needed to combat the challenges posed by the increasing consolidation and vertical integration of the animal protein sector in our region.

Below are the key meat supply chain thematic areas that emerged in initial talks with advisory team members. There are many others, of course, but many of those other themes are already being addressed through existing Extension programs and other T.A. providers.

Building on the well-established content and social capital established by the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) , the Center will:

  • Expand on current collaborations in the region
  • Launch a Western Meat School, supporting participants to master all the essentials for direct marketing niche meat from academic, practitioner and peer experts in production, marketing, processing, financing and pricing
  • Expand types of convenings and events, such as the International Livestock Forum and Mountain Meat Summit
  • Expose regional meat sector leaders to important global and national issues and enable better navigation across the regulatory, market, policy, and workforce challenges

Our Team

Tommy Bass

Montana State University Extension

Rebecca Thistlethwaite

Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, Oregon State University
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