Who Will Be There
Are you a PRODUCER, PROCESSOR, RESTAURATEUR or RETAILER, RESEARCHER or RESOURCE PROVIDER, REGULATOR, ADMINISTRATOR, or LEGISLATOR interested in supporting a strong local meat economy in Washington State? Then you should be at the WA MEAT UP!!!
Come and connect with a network of stakeholders from across the state (from producers to policy makers) with the interest of developing a strong local meat economy. Hear from other producers about shared challenges and creative work-rounds, and get updates on regional slaughter and processing solutions in the works around the state. Come and share your story. Let’s address the pinch points that are narrowing the pathway to a strong and functional local meats value chain in Washington State.
As access to slaughter and processing has dwindled on a regional level, you as the remaining WSDA on-farm slaughter, custom wrap and pack, and USDA processors are the backbone of the niche meat community. Come and help regulators and producers understand your challenges as small businesses serving this sector. What are opportunities you see but are not currently able to access – why not? Your voice is among the most important, we hope you can make it.
Restaurateurs & Retailers
You are the “taste-makers”, those that connect producers and processors with the end consumer. Whether it’s a lavish charcuterie case, a lovingly prepared steak, or the frozen section at a locally minded grocer, you are the influencers supplying the specialty and quality products consumers are looking for. Help others in the the other arms of the niche meats system better understand the needs and customer demand that you see and the opportunities for market growth.
Researchers & Educators
Understand short and longer term needs of this sector to develop relevant and effective educational and service provision resources. (E.g. do we need a more coordinated livestock extension program? Butchery and food science related to meat, grazing practices for soil health? Focused research $, coordinated education offerings, etc?)
Meet with a cross section of this component of industry, understand what’s working for them, what’s a real challenge, and what changes could me a significant difference for growing/supporting success. Possibly understand opportunities to efficiently improve service delivery. Get stakeholder feedback in a positive – forward looking setting.
Policy or Decision Maker
Learn more about an important sector of small farms in WA that have some specific challenges and opportunities. Explore ideas for policy and public investment that could make a big difference for regional food economies in WA. Hear from people/constituents working in the niche meats sector from around the state about the great things that are happening and the changes/investments that would really make a difference.