NCAT Poultry Specialist Kevin Ellis is serving as a consultant on a project to support aggregation and cooperation efforts among poultry producers in western Iowa. The effort, coordinated by the Golden Hills RC&D of Oakland, Iowa, is supported by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program grant.
The project’s primary goal is to help jump-start regional efforts that could lead to new branding opportunities for pastured poultry farmers. Area producers would also like to locate or establish a new, convenient source of USDA-inspected processing services. This would potentially help streamline interactions with a processing facility and make it more feasible to sell into growing regional markets, such as Omaha and Des Moines. The hope is to get pastured poultry production on track in Iowa as a viable agricultural enterprise by addressing a significant problem in the supply chain.
Two preliminary meetings with producers have already taken place, but there is still time to become a member of the cooperative. Golden Hills RC&D is currently surveying farmers in the area to determine interest in the cooperative and different processing and marketing options.