Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Welcome to our new small poultry and meat plant in Iowa County, Wisconsin! Also... New USDA program for small poultry and meat plants announced.

What great news!

I can now start talking about the fact that we have a wonderful new small poultry and meat plant opening in Highland, in Iowa County Wisconsin.

We've been working on this in the background almost since I started doing economic development work in Iowa County.

This beautiful new plant is being designed to have a focus on poultry but also have the capacity to process rabbits and emu as well.

This is a big deal for many reasons.

Among them, the U.S. Department of Agriculture just created a great new pilot program for small, state-inspected poultry and meat processors to allow shipping their foods across state lines.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Announces New Opportunities for Small Meat and Poultry Processors (emphasis added)

"WASHINGTON, August 9, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that Ohio will be the first state to participate in USDA's Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program. Under this program, Ohio's small, state-inspected meat processors will be able to ship their products across state lines.

The cooperative interstate shipment program will expand economic opportunities for America's small meat and poultry processors, strengthen state and local economies, and increase consumer access to safe, locally-produced food."


This is great news for local foods and regional food systems everywhere.

Our new Iowa County USDA poultry and meat processing facility will begin opening this fall in Highland, Wisconsin.

The plan is to open with a commercial kitchen and meat counter for private label processing and local retail sales.

After that they will offer custom processing services for our region. Processing services will be available for chickens, turkeys, rabbits and emu at this beautiful new facility.

I can't wait to help tie this cool new Iowa County poultry and meat news to our amazing story at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

Perhaps the most important part to me personally is that I will now get to eat more home-made pie and delicious comfort food at Grandma's Restaurant in Highland, Wisconsin. The rest pales in comparison.

There is so much good news emerging for smaller scale, safe, professional food processing services of all kinds.

The new USDA program supporting small poultry and meat processors is great news for food economic development.

Now is the time to build a collaborative network of these facilities.

Iowa County, Wisconsin is an innovative and integral part of this national conversation.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Announces New Opportunities for Small Meat and Poultry Processors

Iowa County Area Economic Development

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

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