Webinar will highlight selling meat direct to consumers
for The Fence Post
There are several opportunities for livestock producers to learn more about selling meat direct to consumers through a series of free webinars in January 2021, hosted by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. A five-part webinar series is being offered Jan. 4-8 from noon to 1 p.m. each day, when participants will learn the basics of starting a farm-to-fork business.
A separate one-hour webinar for consumers to better understand meat terminology, basic meat science, common meat processing questions and enjoy some recipes will be held Wednesday evening, Jan. 6, from 7 to 8 p.m.
The webinars are free, but registration is required. Kansas Department of Agriculture officials say anyone from any state is welcome to attend the webinars. They noted that states may have different regulations, so some of the presentations covering state rules and guidance may not be as applicable to those from other states.
Since the pandemic, many ranchers are looking for ways to diversify their farm income, and selling farm to table is considered a favorable option.
“For us, it’s a way to generate a premium for some of our lower end bulls that we would have historically just culled,” said Rachel Cutrer, partner in Brahman Country Beef based in Wharton County, Texas, who will be the featured webinar speaker. “By putting them into our beef program, we are able to increase our income. So in this webinar, I’ll discuss the challenges and struggles we faced, and an overview of how we got our farm to table program up and running.“
She will also explain making a business plan, choosing a processing facility and selling your products.
Selling meat direct to consumers requires some specific planning regarding logistics, storage and marketing. “These were the areas that we really didn’t know how to tackle when we started. For example, what does it take to be able to sell retail? How do you handle shipping of beef? How do you price your beef? These are some questions we will answer in the webinar,” Cutrer said.
Marketing can be as simple as selling whole, half or quarter beef to your neighbors, or as advanced as selling by the retail cut and shipping nationwide.
“There are lots of marketing avenues ranging from social media to local radio/newspaper advertising, even selling at farmers markets,” she said.
In addition to Cutrer’s tips on starting to sell direct to consumers, other speakers will highlight consumer expectations, convenience, animal welfare, sustainability, transparency, trust and branding. On Jan. 7, the focus will be on opportunities to sell meat on social media and a producer panel will be featured on Jan. 8.
For consumers, a webinar Wednesday, Jan. 6, from 7 to 8 p.m. CT called Clearing the Confusion, will focus on basic meat science. Topics will include: grass finished vs. grain finished, intramuscular fat vs. intermuscular fat, vacuum packed vs. plastic wrap vs. paper and others addressing consumer questions. Meat processors will discuss cut sheets, what’s a half, quarter, etc., what different weight terms mean (live weight, hanging weight, take home weight, etc.) and how many pounds to expect from a half of beef, half a hog or a whole lamb.
With consumers eager to learn more about their food and buying food directly from the source, these free webinars support growth through educational opportunities and creative programs
For more information and to register, go to https://agriculture.ks.gov/divisions-programs/agricultural-marketing-advocacy-and-outreach-team/business-development.
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