With the last harvest completed at the end of November, the second season of the Mobile Poultry Processing Unit (MPPU) project has come to a close. Launched in June of 2014, the program is fulfilling the purpose for which it was designed – to provide professional poultry processing services to farmers in Northwest Washington. About 11,000 chickens and 800 turkeys were processed for 25 farms in 2015 – a nearly 32 % increase in throughput over last year. The ultimate goal remains supporting development of a strong core group or cooperative of poultry farmers, and migrating management of the project into their hands when appropriate.
Starting the 2015 season with an all-new crew and management presented a few challenges, including equipment adjustments, operating procedure refinement, and staff training. Considerable progress has been made towards addressing critical areas:
* A professional trainer was employed to train the processing crew
* MPPU Supervisor Miguel Martinez joined the NABC team at the end of June, providing mechanical and managerial expertise
* Contingency plans were developed and successfully employed
* Processing speed, quality and efficiency much improved over last year
* Scheduling and administration systems have been streamlined for a better client experience
Although there is still room for further development, the result has been a smoother running operation and better end products for the farmers. A think-tank of poultry farmers met with NABC staff in mid-December – an opportunity for the users to shape the future of the MPPU. If you would like to know more about the MPPU, or processing during the 2016 season, please contact Project Manager Sera Hartman at 360-336-3727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.