Michigan Meat Network brings together livestock producers, processors and buyers

The Michigan Meat Network event on October 11 will highlight successes and opportunities in local and regional meat in north central Michigan.

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems are collaborating with businesses and organizations within the livestock and meat value chain through the Michigan Meat Network.

The second gathering for this network will be on October 11, 2016, at 1 p.m. at Ebels General Store in Falmouth, Michigan. Ebels is a family-operated, USDA inspected slaughter and processing facility, and home of Little Town Jerky. The tour will give an inside look into operations at this rural meat plant, with insights and discussion from owner Mark Ebels. Orv Kabat from Circle K Buffalo Ranch will also join the discussion. Register online for the for the October 11 event.

The Michigan Meat Network works to create a space for businesses across the meat and livestock value chain to connect, collaborate and learn through in-person network events and virtually through the Michigan Meat Net Google Group. In addition, the Michigan Meat Network serves as a source for news, technical assistance, regulatory updates, relevant research and business opportunities around the state.                               

From dairy and meat to poultry and eggs, livestock constitute an important part of Michigan’s diverse agricultural sector and provide a wide array of nutritious food products. Demand for local and regional protein is high and continues to grow each year. There are challenges for small to mid-sized producers to overcome including processing, transportation, marketing and regulations. Processors, food service buyers and distributors also face obstacles in securing consistent supply, controlling costs and complying with food safety laws. The Michigan Meat Network seeks to find innovation and collaborative solutions to these issues. This will lead to improving the viability of Michigan meat and livestock enterprises and ultimately increasing the availability of local and regional proteins in Michigan’s retail and institutional markets. Livestock producers, meat processors and other food service professionals are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity for business-to-business learning about producing, sourcing, processing and marketing local and regional meat.

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