In response to the growing consumer interest in pasture-raised poultry products, many small producers in WV are interested in small-scale pastured poultry as a new enterprise or for income diversification. This idea is very popular among young, beginning farmers and women farmers, due to the quick turn-around, low physical requirements and environmental ‘friendliness’. They are interested in raising poultry on pasture, processing on-farm, and selling directly to local markets/individual customers. These producers would like to profit from federal exemptions permitting WV farmers to sell 1,000 broilers/year directly to consumers without inspection (with growing interest stemming from the recent proposal to increase this exemption to 20,000 birds). However, WV poultry producers are constrained by very limited access small-scale, custom poultry processing facilities. And as with all new enterprises, planning for profitability is crucial - producers must understand the risks and returns inherent in any new, direct-market enterprise, and develop plans to mitigate risks and increase returns.
This presentation will review the development of a short course designed to help producers understand the feasibility and profit potential of adding/expanding pastured poultry enterprises. We will review the curriculum: production, nutrition and management basics; business-side of pastured-poultry; farm/food safety and labeling issues, and rules/regulations for direct marketing; and scale-appropriate processing equipment and processes. We will share producers’ perception of the course and provide a case-study of comparative costs and returns for different flock sizes. This information will be useful for extension educators interested in programming that combines long-tern business viability with resource stewardship.
|Conference||2014 Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference|
|Presentation Type||30-Minute Concurrent|