Heritage Pastured Poultry Workshop for Montana Growers

As consumer interest in pastured poultry continues to grow around the country, an upcoming workshop presented by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center (MMFEC) and the Salish Kootenai College will take a closer look at the opportunities and challenges for heritage pastured poultry operations, with a focus on Montana.  The workshop, “Heritage Pastured Poultry Production: Opportunities and Challenges,” is being funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA).

Jim Adkins, founder of the International Center for Poultry, will address the market potential for heritage poultry in Montana. Jeff Schahczenski, an Economics Specialist with NCAT, will review resources for pastured poultry production and examine the market and economic potential for pastured poultry products. Jan Tusick of MMFEC will review the Montana Poultry Growers Cooperative Poultry Processing Manual and HACCP systems for on-farm poultry processing.

The day will end with a tour of the Rough Diamond Farm, a pastured poultry operation outside of Great Falls that is developing a breeding-stock program for Ranger chickens.

  • Title: Heritage Pastured Poultry Production: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Location: Holiday Inn Express, 1625 Market Place Drive in Great Falls.
  • Date: March 14, 2013
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost:  $15, which includes lunch
  • For more information: email Jeff Schahczenski at jeffs@ncat.org.
  • Registration link: http://bit.ly/ZdyelN

Upcoming Webinar on Pastured Poultry Production

On February 7th, a webinar on “Pastured Poultry Production and Profitability” is being offered by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)Montana Mission Mountain Food and Cooperative Development Center, and Salish Kootenai College as part of the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) education and community outreach program. NCAT Sustainable Poultry Specialist Terrell “Spence” Spencer will present the basics of pastured poultry production, advantages and pitfalls of the business, and the keys to staying profitable. This free, hour-long webinar kicks off a series of workshops that will be offered in Montana this March.

The webinar is open to everyone. To register, go to https://attra.ncat.org/poultry.

Looking to Improve Animal Welfare on Your Farm? Apply for Fund-a-Farmer Grants!

The application period is open for the Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) Fund-a-Farmer Project: a micro-grants initiative that assists farmers in improving animal welfare. The Fund-a-Farmer Project grants up to $1,500 for projects that (1) help farms transition to pasture-based systems, (2) improve the marketing of their humane products, or (3) more generally enrich the conditions in which farm animals are raised. Last year, FACT awarded $13,000 to nine farms across the country.

Working, independent family farmers who raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows and/or beef cattle are eligible to apply for any of the grants. Projects involving goats and sheep are only eligible for marketing grants. Apply online at www.fundafarmer.org. Applications are due by May 1, 2013, and grants will be awarded in August 2013.