NMPAN Webinars

Small Meat Processors March 23, 2015|Print


Upcoming NMPAN webinars:  

April 21, 2015: Open-Sourced HACCP - Making Cured Meats Production More Accessible

All NMPAN webinars are recorded and archived here, by topic.
A few selected webinars from other groups are also listed.

Click on a webinar's title for the slides, speaker info, and recording.

Topic Areas (click to jump to a topic):


Local Meat and Poultry Processing: the Big Picture

Local Meat Processing: Successes and Innovations

Date: April 19, 2013
Duration: 90 minutes
Host: National Good Food Network

Local meat and poultry can’t get to market without a processor, but processors are pulled in many directions: Farmers would like more processing options, but the kind of processing needed depends on the market, the regulations are complex, and even with premium-priced meats, the profit margins are slim.

So how can local meat processing survive ... and even thrive? On this webinar, Lauren Gwin and Arion Thiboumery, co-founders and co-coordinators of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, share the results of their research on this topic, featuring innovations and lessons learned from successful processors around the country.  We also heard from several regional support efforts -- in Vermont, New York, and North Carolina -- to improve access to local processing.


To Build or Not to Build: Lessons Learned from New Processing Ventures

Date: September 28, 2011
Duration: 1 hour
Finding a processor that does what you need, when you need it, can be challenging. Building a new facility to meet that need might seem like a good idea. Sometimes it is, but often it isn't. On this webinar, we'll discuss what works -- and what doesn't work -- when building new processing facilities. Our speakers share lessons learned, with real examples from the field.

Building the Capacity of Small Meat Processors: Successes and Lessons from North Carolina

Date: January 7, 2015
Duration: 1 hour
Local meat and poultry markets rely on small processors with a range of skills and services.  NC Choices, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems at North Carolina State University, spent two years working with a set of small processors in North Carolina, providing a range of technical assistance and support. The goal? Improve the quality and quantity of processing services available to the state's livestock producers and to enhance the economic viability of both producers and processors.  On this webinar, NC Choices and two processors who participated in the project will tell us how they did it, what they accomplished, and why it matters.

Talk is Cheap ... and Efficient! Facilitating value chain development without costly new infrastructure

Date: January 22, 2015
Duration: 90 minutes

Let's face it: food hubs are sexy! So are other Good Food infrastructure projects, such as regionally-scaled meat processing plants.  And for good reason: these businesses are often filling gaps or bottlenecks in regional and local food systems.  However, sometimes it's not a LACK of infrastructure that leads to bottlenecks; it is incomplete or inefficient USE of the infrastructure that stymies the system.  "Value Chain Coordinators" are people who work to connect the dots in a value chain. They ensure the right people, goods and resources connect with each other. Most often value chain coordinators work outside day-to-day business operations, a vantage point that offers a unique perspective on the optimal solutions in a regional market.  This expanded webinar dives deep into the approaches people across the country are taking to improve the food system without costly new infrastructure.  NMPAN Director Lauren Gwin discusses the critical role of the value chain facilitator in local and regional meat processing. 


Regulations and Policy

Cooperative Interstate Shipment: How's It Working Out?

Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Duration: 1 hour
The Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program, authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill and launched by USDA-FSIS in 2012, allows state-inspected meats from qualifying plants to be shipped across state lines. The goal of the program is to expand market opportunities for small meat and poultry processors. Ohio, Wisconsin, and North Dakota were the first three states to qualify, and Indiana is working on it. On this webinar, we heard from state inspection program directors, processors, and others about their experiences with the program so far and what it took to qualify. An official from FSIS provided background on the CIS program.  

Cooperative Interstate Shipment: Updates from FSIS

Date: Sept. 18, 2014
Duration: 1 hour
On this webinar FSIS discusses the current status of the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program in Ohio. Speakers and representatives from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, FSIS, and USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) initiative provide an overview of CIS and information on USDA assistance and available resources for small and mid-scale meat and poultry processors. 

USDA-FSIS Draft Compliance Guide for Mobile Slaughter Units

Date: July 13, 2010
Duration: 1 hour
On May 24, 2010 USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a draft “Mobile Slaughter Unit Compliance Guide.” The guide was written for owners and managers of a new or existing red meat or poultry MSU who want to operate under federal inspection. On this webinar we explain the guidance and answer questions with the help of a Policy Officer from USDA-FSIS.

Interstate Shipment of State-Inspected Meat Proposed Rule

Date: October 20, 2009
Duration: 45 min.
The 2008 Farm Bill included a provision to allow the interstate sale of state-inspected meat and poultry. In September 2009, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service published proposed rules for how this program will work. On this webinar, we explain the proposed rules, discuss "messy details" and areas of controversy, and give background on the issue.

Meat Labels and Label Claims

Date: July 8, 2009
Duration: 90 minutes
Meat labels can be confusing for producers, processors, and consumers. Officials from USDA/FSIS Labeling and Program Delivery Division and Iowa Meat and Poultry Inspection, and the operations manager of Organic Valley's meat division explain the label approval process, voluntary label claims, updated requirements, and how FSIS interprets claims defined by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Poultry Processing Exemptions

Date: March 10, 2009
Duration: 90 Minutes
Poultry processing exemptions can be difficult for producers, processors, and even regulators to sort out. Recognizing that states have the ability to individually modify these regulations, this webinar attempts to clear up some confusion by offering both an FSIS and a state perspective. Additionally, three exempt processors overview their operations.

Poultry Processing Exemptions II (2010)

Date: December 7, 2010
Duration: 1 hour
The federal poultry processing exemptions remain confusing for producers, processors, and even regulators, especially since most states have added their own modifications to the federal regulations. In this webinar, a policy official from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service explains the exemptions, and a state official from North Carolina explains how that state recently decided to allow one of the most important federal exemptions.

Nutritional Labeling of Meat and Poultry: the New Rules

Date: October 4, 2011
Duration: 1 hour 
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service finalized new rules in 2010 about nutritional labeling of meat and poultry products. The new rules are effective on January 1, 2012 -- that means everyone must be in compliance.  On this webinar, FSIS explained the rules and what you need to know to comply. Also, Brynn Kepler of the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) described their labeling resources.

NACMPI is Seeking Nominations: Learn More and Apply

Date: May 15, 2014
Duration: 30 min.
On this webinar, Keith Payne, Deputy Director of FSIS's Outreach and Partnership Division, and Steve Warshawer of La Montanita Co-Op and Mesa Top Farm and a current NACMPI committee member, explain the purpose and mission of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) and tell you how to submit your application to serve, if you are interested.  Please note, this webinar is time sensitive: applications are due on June 16, 2014. 

Management and Accounting Tools for Processors

Product Costing for Meat Processors and Marketers

Date: October 21, 2010
Duration: 1 hour
A processor and a marketer, both specializing in niche meats, explain the ins and outs of how to cost out products efficiently and effectively, including insights on inventory management.

Order & Inventory Management

Date: April 27, 2010
Duration: 1 hour
How to keep track of everything? Three meat companies showcase the computer systems they are using: why they use them, how they work, and how much they cost.

Third-Party Audits for Small and Mid-Sized Meat Processors

Date: April 5, 2011
Duration: 68 minutes
Small and mid-sized meat processors are increasingly being asked by their customers to go through third party audits for a range of standards and practices. On this webinar, auditors explain what to expect from – and how to prepare for – audits for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), food safety, animal welfare, and certified organic. A processor with ample audit experience will also offer tips and perspective.

Cost Analysis: Are You Making Money?

Date: March 19, 2014
Duration: 60 minutes
Many meat processors watch their checkbook balances and hope for the best.  Some wade through P&L statements looking for answers and often come up short.  Most small processors don't fully understand why they are or aren't making money and what they can do about it.  Learn how to develop systems that will give you the financial information you need to make decisions that improve your business' performance.

The Business of Dry Curing

Date: June 25, 2014
Duration: 60 minutes

There has been significant consumer interest in dry cured charcuterie products, like salumi, in recent years.  Consumers love it, chefs want it and it is a good way for producers and processors to get more value out of a carcass and/or really set their brand apart.  Yet making dry cured products can be challenging and not always cost effective. On this webinar we'll cover the Business of Dry Curing: we'll hear about the growth of artisan cured meats, the basics of the business and talk to two charcuterie processors about how they got started, their day to day operations and the costs and revenue for dry curing.


Plant Management Strategies to Reduce Fall Season Stress

Date: Sept. 9, 2014
Duration: 1 hour

Small Plant Operators: do you dread the busy fall season? It can be the most lucrative time of year for small meat processing facilities, but is also often the most stressful. Your plant is at full capacity between fee-for-service processing customers, hunters and holiday orders, customers want it all and they want it right now, overtime pay spikes, equipment breaks down, and you and your employees are stressed out.  Sounds familiar?  On this webinar, Nick McCann shares real life examples and proven strategies for solving common problems in meat plant management: excessive overtime, stressed out employees, customer complaints, and quality problems that often occur during the busy fall season.  (SLIDES ONLY: RECORDING NOT AVAILABLE)



Business Planning and Plant Design

Innovations in Wastewater Management for Small Meat Processors

Date: July 23, 2013
Duration: 50 minutes
Wastewater management can be very challenging and expensive for small meat and poultry processors. On this webinar, you'll learn about an innovative and cost-effective solution -- constructed wetlands -- being used by a small, USDA inspected poultry and red meat slaughter and processing plant in rural Indiana.  

The Business of Meat Processing: Planning and Profitability

Date: June 2, 2011
Duration: 1 hour, 15 min.
Planning to expand, change, or build a new meat processing business? Trying to figure out how to make your small processing business more profitable? On this webinar, business management and planning experts will address these important topics and answer your questions. We will also roll out two new user-friendly guides for small meat processors on planning and profitability.

Building a Small Meat Processing Plant

Date: May 26, 2009
Duration: 1 hour
Thinking about building a new plant? Want to expand your existing plant? Considering getting into the meat processing business? This webinar will help you understand the process and the pitfalls of plant design and construction.

Food Safety

Microbiology 101 for Small Meat Processors

Date: February 1, 2012
Duration: 95 minutes
Meat processors increasingly need to understand microbiology concepts and terms, from N-60 sampling and multi drug resistance to Non-0157 STECs, CFU, APC, PCR, and PFGE. Two Pennsylvania State University food scientists with many years experience working with small meat processors explain the basic microbiological terms that processors – and their customers – need to understand. The webinar has four sections: Microorganisms in Food, Pathogens, Spoilage Organisms, and Microbial Analysis.

Microbiology 201 for Small Meat Processors

Date: August 29, 2012
Duration: 90 minutes
In this webinar, our Microbiology 101 instructors take us to the next level, focusing on microbiological sampling, both why and how. The webinar has four sections: (1) goals and basics of microbiological sampling, (2) environmental sampling and two examples: listeria and sanitation verification, (3) product sampling, and (4) how to choose a microbiological testing lab.

Controlling Listeria: What You Need to Know about USDA's New Guidance

Date: November 27, 2012
Duration: 90 minutes

In September, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued revised guidance about controlling Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products. On this webinar, Penn State University food safety scientists Martin Bucknavage and Catherine Cutter explain the revised guidance document and what processors need to know to comply.

This webinar was co-sponsored by the American Association of Meat Processors, the North American Meat Association.


Natural Curing for Meats

Date: March 4, 2010
Duration: 1 hour

As interest rises in cured meats made without synthetic nitrates/nitrites, processors are seeking information on safe and effective methods. On this webinar, meat scientists, a processor, and an organic meats marketer explain ingredients, processes, and challenges to natural curing, as well as product labeling issues.


HACCP in an Hour

Date: May 29, 2014
Duration: 1 hour

HACCP — Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point — has been around for decades as a food safety management system in many different industries. Starting in 2000, USDA required all inspected meat & poultry establishments to have a HACCP plan in place and to follow that plan. So what is it? How does it work? What are the basics?  On this webinar, you’ll learn the ABCs of HACCP — vocabulary and basic concepts — from an experienced HACCP instructor, Jonathan Campbell from Penn State University.

Mobile Units

Mobile Slaughter Units (MSUs): An International Perspective

Date: February 18, 2015
Duration: 1 hour
The first USDA-inspected mobile slaughter unit (MSU) for red meat species began operating in 2002. Since then, MSUs have not only evolved in size and design but have also gone international: Europe, South America, Papua New Guinea, and soon in Africa.  On this webinar we heard about MSUs operating both in the U.S. and overseas: learning how they meet regulatory requirements, handle animals humanely, manage water, assure food safety, and more.  We discussed MSU design concepts, challenges and future improvements. 

Mobile Slaughter Units (Red Meat): Reports from the Field and Future Directions

Date: September 10, 2013
Duration: 90 minutes
Inspected mobile slaughter units for beef, bison, and other red meat species have been operating for more than a decade. How are they working out? What have we learned? And how might the next generation of MSUs be different? On this webinar, we heard from seasoned MSU pioneers -- from New Mexico, South Dakota, and Colorado -- about their experiences, lessons learned, and ideas for the future

Mobile Poultry Processing Units: Reports from the Field

Date: April 5, 2012
Duration: 90 minutes
Coordinators and others involved with five mobile poultry processing units on the ground in Vermont, Montana, Massachusetts (2), and Kentucky explain how their units work, accomplishments to date, costs, and lessons learned.

Mobile Poultry Processing Units in California, Montana, and Vermont

Date: October 14, 2009
Duration: 1 hour
Coordinators of three new mobile poultry processing units explain how the units work and discuss challenges, strategies, and lessons learned in bringing these units on line.

Mobile Processing Units: What's the State of the Art?

Date: December 10, 2008
Duration: 1 hour
This webinar features the first USDA-inspected red meat MPU; the latest ideas and options for mobile units; policy challenges to getting an MPU up & running in Montana; and an economic feasibility cost-calculator spreadsheet for MPUs.

USDA-FSIS Webinars on Mobile Slaughter Units

Dates: January 20 and 21, 2010
Duration: 90 minutes each
Description:These two webinars, offered by USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service, explain red meat and poultry mobile slaughter units. Presentations cover technical and practical aspects, regulatory compliance, and financial assistance programs. Recordings and slides available (January 2010).

Waste Management

Alternatives to Rendering: Butcher Waste Composting

Date: December 1, 2009
Duration: 1 hour
Disposal of offal and butcher waste is often increasingly difficult and expensive, as renderers close down or raise prices. Composting this waste has been demonstrated as a viable, safe alternative. An expert in butcher waste composting explains how it's done, and a small meat processor in Oregon describes his composting operation, including regulations and permitting process.

Working Effectively With Your Processor

Understanding the Processor's Language

Date: September 15, 2009
Duration: 60 minutes
The Executive Director of the American Association of Meat Processors explains how processors do what they do, from yield grades and cutting specifications, inspection and other regulatory requirements, meat handing and shelf life, improving communications with your processor, and more.

Working Effectively with Your Processor

Date: August 24, 2011
Duration: 1 hour

On this webinar, Kathleen Harris of the Northeast Livestock Processing Company spoke about how producers and processors can work more effectively together to overcome common problems. Bruce Dunlop of Island Grown Farmers Cooperative described the processing scheduling system their group uses for its own processing facilities.

Educating Your Processing Customers: Customer Manuals

Date: February 27, 2013
Time: 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern, for 1 hour

Some processors give their new processing customers a “how to work with us” manual, to help with the education process. On this webinar, we learned about manuals used by two small plants: Wells Jenkins Wells, in North Carolina, and Homegrown Poultry, in Idaho. We also showed an online model you can use to write your own.




eXtension is an interactive learning environment delivering research-based information emerging from America's land-grant university system.


Donate to Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network

Your donation keeps eXtension growing.

Give Now