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Central Coast Livestock Producer Summit: Exploring Producer-led Solutions to Processing Bottlenecks

The Summit will be a producer-led meeting of the Farmers’ Association Central Coast Meat Producers Committee,focusing on the feasibility of establishing cooperative services for Central Coast meat producers. From transportation and cooperative feed purchasing to meat processing facilities for independent meat producers, this Summit will address the need for practical and affordable co-op solutions.

Demand for locally produced meat offers farmers and ranchers an opportunity to grow their farm businesses through direct marketing. But bottlenecks in processing can present a challenge for producers to succeed in the marketplace. Collaborative solutions can offer producers a way forward in developing their operations. The Summit will bring together the Central Coast Meat Producers Committee of the EcoFarm Farmers’ Association with experts in meat processing, facility development, transportation, and cooperative development. The format will be facilitated and participatory. All interested parties are invited, as the development of this cooperative model involves recruiting additional Central Coast meat producers. The Farmers’ Association is also interested in expanding its meat producers co-op development into other regions. The Summit will provide information useful for producers from all regions interested in co-op business models. 
Speakers: Keith DeHaan, Food and Livestock Planning, Inc.; Ken Dickerson, EcoFarm Farmers’ Association; Roger Ingram, UCCE Farm Advisor; Luis Sierra, California Center for Cooperative Development; Kathryn Quanbeck, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network
Asilomar lunch included
Registration: $45
Location: Asilomar Conference Grounds. Check in to register at Surf & Sand.
Sponsorsed by the California Center for Cooperative Development, the EcoFarm Farmers’ Association, and the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network.
Additional project support from: Animal Welfare Approved, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Paicines Ranch, Peninsula Open Space Trust, TomKat Educational Foundation/LeftCoast GrassFed.
Funding for this Summit and Co-op development project is provided through the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Project (LFPP) and Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG).

SCHEDULE for Wednesday, January 21

9:00-9:20 Introduction and overview of the day

  • Rebecca King, Monkeyflower Ranch and Garden Variety Cheese
  • Ken Dickerson, Ecological Farming Association
  • Luis Sierra, California Center for Cooperative Development

9:20 -10:10 Meat producer group exercise

10:10-10:50 Short term solutions: Transportation for slaughter/cut-wrap access

  • Sarah Lopez, Fiesta Farms
  • Roger Ingram, UC Cooperative Extension

10:50:-11:00 BREAK

11:00-12:30 From Plan to Plant:

  • Kathryn Quanbeck, Niche Meat Producers Assistance Network
  • Keith DeHaan, Food and Livestock Planning, Inc.
  • Sallie Calhoun, Paicines Ranch

12:30-1:45 Lunch

1:45- 2:30 Inspection Q & A with state and federal inspectors:

  • Dr. Yudhbar Sharma, FSIS
  • Dr.Herbert Raditsch, CDFA

2:30-3:15 Facility ownership and financing options:

  • Luis Sierra, California Center for Cooperative Development
  • Daniel Port, Motherlode Meats member:
  • Karen Firestein, USDA- has the grants to help

3:15-3:20 BREAK

3:20-4:15 Breakout working group discussions

4:15-4:40 Next Steps

Date and Location




Thank you to our EcoFarm 2020 sponsors!