SWGLA Helpful Links:
General Business and Meat Business:
- Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network Beginner’s Guide to Local Meat Processing covers the basics of all you need to know, a handy and easy to read set of fact sheets for producers as well as processors to begin to understand the logistics and regulations around processing and selling your meat through various channels. All of NMPAN’s resources are worthwhile, as is their highly active listserve.
- FSIS Small Plant Help desk for all your processor-related and regulations questions.
- Livestock Conservancy for heritage breed information to inform decisions, and breeders directory
- USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Market Pricing: USDA commodity market price indexes
- Cornell’s Sheep & Goat Marketing Site: one-stop-shop for all things related to buying and selling animals, product and includes a listserve sign-up
- Attra’s Guide to Direct Marketing resources: covers multiple revenue channels across the nation
- NC Choices Resources – a ton of downloadable PDFs, presentations, videos and webinars covering basics and detailed instructions for multi-species pastured livestock businesses. NC Choices is an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in collaboration with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, and promotes sustainable food systems through the advancement of the local, niche, and pasture-based meat supply chain in North Carolina. Many of its resources are universal to producers anywhere.
Online Marketplace Platforms for Producers:
- Graze Cart: one of many new online services for listing your cuts; potentially saves time and efforts of launching your own online sales site. Something to keep on the radar and always inform yourself about in terms of cost, pricing, maintenance, and logistics management.
- Barn 2 Door: an online platform for customized website creation and e-commerce including inventory and multi-channel pickup/delivery management for a monthly fee. An alternative to Squarespace, Shopify, or custom buildout of online web design and templatized e-commerce.
Pricing and Margin Tools:
- Cornell Meat Price & Yield Calculator: Yield based tool with per cut averages already entered and determining breakeven on the entire animal, playing with cut pricing and a pre-determined overall carcass margin % (rather than individualizing margin per cut)
- Livestock Compass (University of Wisconsin Madison) for calculating the cost of production across all species, to know inputs well and thus set pricing.
- Wallace Center Pasture Project Grassfed Beef Financial Calculators: a comprehensive, interactive Excel spreadsheet that allows you to examine the costs of various beef cattle enterprises and make informed financial decisions. The same site has A Comparison of Rental Rates for Landowners tool – a simple model for landowners providing comparative rents from leasing to grass-fed beef operations versus corn producers.
- Carcass calculator: Understand and estimate % of carcass yield for your animal
Butchery Instructional Videos and Meat Links:
- Forequarter Beef Breakdown video: This video of a 2-hour beef butchery workshop is intended for those interested in learning how to butcher a cow and discusses some of the special challenges of establishing local niche meat processing for producers and buyers. Sponsored by Oregon State University, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN).
- UNL Bovine Myology: Interactive muscle and bone identification platform.
- Fabrication Videos
- National Association of Meat Processors. The Meat Buyers Guide: Key to meat codes. Paid subscription has cutting videos.
- USDA Grading: Interactive learning module on beef grading
- Beef It’s What’s For Dinner Training site: Beef checkoff supported training material.
- Bon Appetit Handcrafted Video Series
- Colorado State University Meat School Class 1: Marketing
- Colorado State University Meat School Class 2: Animal Nutrition and Grazing Management
- Colorado State University Meat School Class 3: Finishing, Grading, and Quality Assurance and Safety From Farm to Harvest
- Colorado State University Meat School Class 4: Processing
- Colorado State University Meat School Class 5: Meat Cutting for Different Markets
Scientific Studies and Links:
- Life Cycle Analysis: Regenerative Grazing at White Oak Pastures PDF
Industry Trade Groups and Conferences:
- https://www.adamdanforth.com/books. Comprehensive books on butchering focusing on seam butchering.
- The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising by Kari Underly. A comprehensive guide to beef cutting with emphasis on beef value cuts.