Business


Photo courtesy of NABC

Another seminar I enjoyed at Focus on Farming was getting to tour the new mobile poultry processing unit owned and operated by the Northwest Ag Business Center (NABC). I had heard about this, but it was neat to see it in person.

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I have been so remiss on blogging lately! Last weekend we went camping and razor clamming. The weather was beautiful and warm, it could have been June rather than mid-December. I’ll include photos from the beach, since my topic has no photos.

Here is a short tidbit on another seminar I enjoyed at the recent Focus on Farming. This one was given by Kathryn Quanbeck, Program Manager for Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN). She covered the broad topic of slaughter options- custom-exempt versus state-inspected (which we don’t have) versus USDA-inspected. Her talk was very good, bringing some of the frank realities to the table.

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I went to Focus on Farming last week. Here are a few notes from one of the presentations I attended, on the new USDA Grass Fed program for “small and very small producers.” The class was presented by Steve Ross from the USDA, who developed and oversees his new program. (I think this is a link to the slide deck he used, or something very similar.)

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To everything, there is a season…

I’ve always loved this verse, even though I’m not a biblical person. There is a reason it’s so often read at funerals, as it just reminds us how everything in life is this way, things come and go, and we have to be accepting of it. It helps me view events on the farm with perspective, where there is always a lot of coming and  going of all kinds.

It came to mind again to me the other day, as I drove past the location of The Art of Milk dairy. Which has had to close. I’m sad selfishly, because I loved the milk and it was very convenient for me to pick up. But I’m also sad because over the last two years, I’ve gotten to know Art and Nancy Groeneweg, and they are really neat people. So, I am sad for them.

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imageA few notes from a meeting I attended in early August, on the newly-forming farmers’ cooperative, North Cascade Meats (also on Facebook here). We have very limited options for USDA slaughter in our area, which makes it nearly impossible to sell meat by the cut to consumers and restaurants. This group intends to change that, by creating a cooperatively-owned USDA slaughter option.

Currently, I only sell lamb on the hoof, to either customers who have it processed by a local custom-exempt butcher, or to customers who can do their own processing. This works for me right now, as I don’t produce that many butcher lambs, and they all sell out. But looking ahead, I am interested in other channels in which to sell lamb, as I increase the size of my herd. And, it would be nice to be able to give out, or sell, samples to people considering buying my lamb. Thus, I have been watching this group with interest for quite some time.

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