Mobile Poultry Processing Unit Receives USDA Funding

A new WSDA-certified Mobile Poultry Processing Unit or “MPPU,” championed and brought to life by the Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC), has been awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Value-Added Producer Program. Rural Development funds will be used to defray start-up costs for the project, which provides poultry and rabbit processing services to northwest Washington producers. Funds will support implementation of the regioMPU Truck Photonal supply network to operate the Unit and firmly establish the enterprise as a long-term, reliable resource for area producers.

Pastured poultry is a promising alternative enterprise for diversified family farms. In order to sell wholesale birds off-farm and in any form other than whole and fresh, processing facilities and farmers must adhere to specific processing regulations and stringent guidelines. Access to the level of professional processing services required for commercial-scale production has been extremely limited, but with the new MPPU on line launching or expanding poultry and rabbit production is within reach for many small to mid-sized producers.

Thanks to funding from the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Sustainable Whatcom Fund the MPPU became a reality. Now with USDA’s grant funds, the project is better positioned to continue to provide producers in northwest Washington with access to convenient, legal, on-farm processing, enabling them to enter the marketplace with upscale product at volumes essential to business viability and ready to supply the increasing demand for “locally-grown” foods. The goal of the program is to migrate management of the MPPU to a producer-owned cooperative, the formation of which will be supported through NABC’s educational and business planning support services.

For more information about the MPPU project, please contact the NABC home office at 360-336-3727 or info@agbizcenter.org.

NABC was created as a response to a critical need for a single regional business support organization focusing on practical, hands-on technical assistance for the development and expansion of new and existing agricultural businesses. NABC is involved in producing or supporting value-added products and services that will tip the balance toward profitability for many of the small and mid-sized farms in the five county region of the NABC. The NABC, as a five county organization including Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom and Snohomish counties, is positioned to take advantage of economies of scale, linking knowledge and financial resources across county lines.

NABC is funded in part by USDA. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

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