Small Meat Processor Workshop to Be Held April 25

Speakers will cover business planning, budgets, marketing strategies and more

February 12, 2024, 12:17 pm | Dan Nieland

AMES, Iowa – Recognizing the interest in local meat processing, the Enterprise Development team with Farm, Food and Enterprise Development with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is holding a Small Meat Processor Workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs as well as those relatively new to the industry.

The workshop will be held April 25 at Iowa State’s Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames.

Demand for local meat processing continues to be strong, following the COVID 19 pandemic, which exposed issues with the supply chain and created a backlog of customer orders.

“The pandemic demonstrated the very limited capacity of local meat processors,” said Dan Nieland, small business education specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Although this has been somewhat remediated, there are still longer lead times and areas of Iowa and surrounding states that have no ready-access to small meat processors.”

Nieland said there will be resources available to help entrepreneurs who are just getting started, or who are looking to expand their business. Resources are available for business planning, risk management and enterprise budgets.

Speakers will include specialists with ISU Extension and Outreach, state meat regulators and others. The goal is to empower those with an interest in local meat processing with the knowledge and resources to succeed.

“There are many things to consider before entering the meat market, or expanding,” said Nieland. “Our goal is to create a robust supply chain that allows local producers ready-access to these smaller meat processors.”

Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m., with the workshop scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

The workshop is free to attend, but registration is required, as seats are limited. Register by April 10 at: https://GO.IASTATE.EDU/DC9LFB

For more information, contact Ethan Bowers at This material is based upon work supported by USDA-NIFA under Award Number 2022-70419-38561.

Photo credit: Female butcher processing meat, by serhiibobyk/

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