A lack of processing capacity is an often-cited constraint to further expansion of niche meat production, both in Colorado and nationally. Small- to mid-sized niche meat livestock producers often make decisions about livestock finishing well in advance of their need for processing services, and uncertainty around the availability of these services imposes significant marketing and financial risks. Building and strengthening connections among niche meat producers and processors stands to reduce these risks and enhance the economic vitality of these businesses as well as improve consumer product offerings. This presentation introduces an assessment tool for diagnosing processing capacity constraints to expanded niche meat production and highlights its application to a 2018 case study of the niche meat value chain in Colorado. In addition to addressing physical processing capacity and identifying processors’ business development needs, the tool is unique in that it also addressed factors influencing (and limiting) processor’s willingness and ability to reallocate or expand on their existing processing capacity in response to future niche meat livestock processing opportunities. Of interest to other extension professionals, our discussion will highlight how the tool offered new perspectives on capacity constraint issues, resulted in new extension programming and recommendations, and provided general lessons on diagnostic tool development, implementation, and analysis.
|Conference||2019 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|
|Presentation Type||30-Minute Concurrent|