Exploring the possibility of a grass-fed and grain-fed beef producer co-op in Michigan

The idea of a producer owned cooperative for grass-fed and grain-fed beef is something that has been talked about for a while. The speakers at this meeting, will share their stories of such cooperatives.

Cows in a field

Beef producers who are interested in learning more about cooperatives are invited to attend a gathering with two guest speakers. The speakers will share the reasons for the success of farmer/rancher owned cooperatives that they are involved in. It is difficult to be successful on an island, those producers that are fortunate enough to belong to a group of like-minded individuals that bring different strengths to the table should be more successful than a person that tries to go at it alone.

In 2010, a team consisting of MSU animal scientist Dr. Jason Rowntree and MSU Extension educators Jerry Lindquist (emeritus) and Kable Thurlow began working with producers that were interested in producing grass-finished beef. Since that time, the idea of needing a marketing cooperative in Michigan has come up time and time again. Marketing alone in the good times can be easy to accomplish, but not so much in the tough times like we have experienced in the past three to four years. In those times, strength of the herd is important.

We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the experts. Make 2020 the year of change in the right direction for your farm or ranch. Both Country Natural Beef and Desert Mountain Grass-Fed Beef are suppliers for Whole Foods among others. You are encouraged to learn more about them by going to their website ahead of time.

The guest speakers for the evening will be:

The gathering will take place on Friday January 24th, with registration at 4:30 p.m. and the program starting promptly at 5 p.m. The evening will have formal presentations, round table discussion and supper. It will be held at the Clare-Gladwin RESD conference room located at 4041 E. Mannsiding Rd., Clare, MI 48617. There is no cost to attend this gathering; registration and the meal are being covered by a grant from the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture. Seating is limited and registration deadline  is Sunday, January 19, at 11:59 PM. To complete the online registration visit here.

For more information on this program, please contact Kable Thurlow, Michigan State University Extension Educator at (989) 426-7741 or thurlowk@msu.edu

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