Featured stories and content

FEATURED CONTENT
web_image_2

NEW! NC Choices'
Instructional Poultry Processing Video

NC Choices with support from the Golden Leaf Foundation and Southern Risk Management and Education Center is please to announce a series of instructional videos being launched fall 2014 and spring 2015.  Check out the NEW Instructional Poultry Processing Video.  Special thanks to lead instructor, Lee Menius of Wild Turkey Farm, featured in the film.

READ THE REST »
web_image_2

NEW! NC Choices'
Instructional Poultry Processing Video

NC Choices with support from the Golden Leaf Foundation and Southern Risk Management and Education Center is please to announce a series of instructional videos being launched fall 2014 and spring 2015.  Check out the NEW Instructional Poultry Processing Video.  Special thanks to lead instructor, Lee Menius of Wild Turkey Farm, featured in the film.

READ THE REST »
fb

Follow NC Choices on
Facebook

Stay connected to the most current events and updates taking place at NC Choices and in the local and niche meat industry in North Carolina. 

READ THE REST »
WomenWorkinginMeat_2014Logo

APPLY NOW! Women
Working in the Meat Business Intensive Seminar

2014 Women Working in the Meat Business Intensive Seminar Sunday, Nov.9th – Tuesday, Nov.11th Chapel Hill, NC 2013 Women Working in the Meat Business picturescourtesy of Briana Brough Photography.  DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FOR NC CHOICES' WOMEN WORKING IN THE MEAT BUSINESS: NOV.9TH-11TH DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FOR AMAZING GRAZING'S FEMALE LEADERSHIP IN CATTLE HANDLING: NOV.8TH (Please note these are separate events and acceptance into one does not guarantee acceptance in the other.  Space is limited in both workshops) Join female livestock producers, butchers, meat processors, chefs, and industry professionals for a hands-on two plus day seminar with lead instructor, Kari Underly, a third generation meat cutter, inventor of the flat iron steak, and James Beard Award nominee. NC Choices, with prime sponsor support from Farm Credit Associations of NC and Farm Aid, is excited to present the 2nd annual Women Working in the Meat Business Intensive Seminar, Nov.9th-11th, 2014. Women livestock farmers and niche meat professionals interested in growing their meat businesses will gain hands-on pork and beef butchery training coupled with tools to increase proficiency, communication, and confidence in marketing meats in an intimate setting with top industry professionals. Space is limited to 30 participants so apply now! Additional support provided by NC Growing Together, NC SARE, The Southern Risk Management and Education Center, Lantern Table, and Chapel HillTop Lodge. Discussion topics will include … Pricing & profits: Learn if you’re making a profit, how much of a profit, and how to refine your pricing using a step by step “whole animal” assessment tool developed by Firsthand Foods. Improving knife skills: Hands-on opportunity to fabricate different retail cuts for a diverse marketplace Cut sheet trial and error: Learn how to make processing realities match your business needs.  Identify common mishaps and strategize about how to effectively communicate expectations. Cooking, texture, and taste: Discuss muscle, function, and marketability. Best practices for marketing meat: Learn about trends in meat markets, tips for getting to know your customers, and messaging that SELLS from top industry butcher shop owners and niche meat professionals. MORE… full schedule to follow PLUS for the first time ever, NC Choices is teaming up with Amazing Grazing's Leadership in Cattle Handling for Female Producers workshop, November 8th at the NCSU Butner Beef Cattle Field Laboratory.  The hands-on workshop will cover low stress cattle handling, reproductive health practices, pasture management, and general health management (including proper vaccination techniques, deworming, and eartagging).  Free of charge but space is limited.  This is a separate application process. Contact April Schaeffer for details at April_Shaeffer@ncsu.edu  (919-515-4005). Accommodations: Seminar includes two days, two night accommodations at the Chapel Hilltop Lodge eight miles outside Chapel.  Lodge sits on 46 acres and features an organic garden, saltwater pool, extensive balconies, patios, pool table, exercise room and expansive common space in a beautiful agricultural setting.  All meals are complimentary, including breakfast, lunch at the Carolina Brewery, cocktail social hour, and a special dinner at Lantern Restaurant, recognized by Gourmet Magazine as one of "America's Top 50 Restaurants" and "best farm-to-table restaurants". Classes will be located in “Lantern Table”, Lantern restaurant’s new community kitchen and private dining room on Franklin St. in downtown Chapel Hill. Application: This intensive seminar is limited to 30 participants in order to maintain small group size and to allow the opportunity to be active and gain hands-on experience.  We require all interested participants to first complete an application.  We will select final participants based on a range of factors including our intent to make sure the seminar includes a diversity of women working in the meat business. DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FOR NC CHOICES' WOMEN WORKING IN THE MEAT BUSINESS: NOV.9TH-11TH Cost: $400 all inclusive: All meals, lodging, transportation, and training.  Participants will be expected to cover tip for meals out so bring cash to have on hand. **Full and partial scholarships are available on a need basis thanks to Prime Sponsors: Farm Credit Associations of NC and Farm Aid Future Farmers Leadership Fund as well as supporting sponsors: NC Growing Together, The Southern Risk Management and Education Center (SARE), Amazing Grazing, Lantern Table, and Chapel HillTop Lodge.** **Participants may also contact their individual county Farm Bureau office for scholarship inquiries to be reviewed for consideration on a case by case basis. ** If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Blacklin at sarah@ncchoices.com  (919-928-4771).  Space is limited, so if you would like to participate, please fill out the following application by October 10, 2014 and return via email or mail to:   Attention: Sarah Blacklin Center for Environmental Farming Systems Campus Box 7609/Kilgore Hall Raleigh, NC 27695 sarah@ncchoices.com *

READ THE REST »
cover

NEW! NC Technical
Assistance Manual

NC Choices Tech Assistance Project Training Manual In 2013 and 2014 with funding support from the NC Rural Center, NC Choices provided technical assistance on a range of topics to a group of small-scale meat and poultry processors across North Carolina. The goal of the project, “Supporting Sustainable Rural Economic Development through Advancement of North Carolina’s Niche Meat Industry,” was to improve the quality and quantity of processing services available to the state’s livestock producers, to enhance the economic viability of both producers and processors. This training manual describes information, strategies, and recommendations developed during this project that may be useful to other processors around the country. The manual is intended both for processors and for individuals and organizations that provide similar support to processors in their regions. Participating processors implemented the approaches   described in the manual over the two-year period. NC Choices continues to work with the processors to track outcomes past the project end date, to gauge the long-term effect of changes they made. What is in this manual? This introduction provides background on the project, its purpose and process, and profiles of the participating processors. Subsequent chapters serve as a “toolbox” for the reader, describing each tool or strategy learned from the project and real life challenges the processors faced along the way.  Read the full manual. The NC Choices Technical Assistance Manual along with additional resources for small processing facilities can also be found on the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network database.

READ THE REST »
steer_grass

Sign Up for the NC
Choices Listserve

Stay connected to the most current events and updates taking place at NC Choices and in the local and niche meat industry in North Carolina.  NC Choices has 2 moderated listserves.  Both listserves are pertinent to commercial producers/farmers, meat processors, food-service, distributors and buyers directly involved in the local and niche meat supply chain in and around North Carolina. The NC Choices News listserv serves as a forum for educational and marketing opportunities as they pertain to local and niche meats. We encourage you to use this lists to share Events related to local and niche meats. Scholarly and news articles related Technical Questions Job postings and employment opportunities of NATIONAL interest, Educational opportunities and ideas as they pertain to the local and niche meat sector. Sign Up for NC Choices News: Email sarah@ncchoices.com and put "Sign Up for News" in the subject line. The NC Choices Classified listserv serves as a forum for meat and livestock commerce. Private individuals and commercial interests may use this service. This is an "industry only" list and is not intended for use by consumers looking to purchase finished, consumable meat products. Please do not use this list as a marketing tool to advertise consumable meat/food products. Commercial meat processors MAY use this list to advertise processing services. We encourage you to use this lists to: Buy, sell, trade, lease equipment and livestock Advertise processing services Seeking specific consulting services Announce job postings and employment opportunities of LOCAL interest Other commerce and business exchange as it pertains to the niche meat sector. Sign Up for NC Choices Classifieds: Email sarah@ncchoices.com and put "Sign Up for Classifieds" in the subject line. Frequently Asked Listserv Questions: Unsure which listserv to use to post your news?If you are not sure which listserv is best, feel free to note your question at the top of the body of the email.  The moderator will review and direct to your post to the appropriate location.  It may be one or both listserves. How do I know when my news is posted? As the sender, you will not see your post once it's approved unless it's responded to by another person.  If you have a question about a particular post, please refer to Casey McKissick at casey@ncchoices.com. Posts will generally be approved within 12 hours.

READ THE REST »
NEWS View All
e-Extension

Direct Marketing Meats: September 16th, 12pm EST

Tuesday, September 16 at 11:00 am CDT Link: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/womeninag/ Are you new to direct marketing meats? Not sure how to fill out a cut sheet or what questions to ask your butcher?  During this webinar, we'll MORE »

More News
EVENTS View All
Amazing Grazing's Female Leadership in Cattle HandlingSat Nov 8 - Sat Nov 8, 2014 - ALL DAY Where:
Cattle Handlling
— 2 weeks away
2014 NC Choices' Women Working in the Meat Business Intensive SeminarSun Nov 9 - Tue Nov 11, 2014 - ALL DAY Where:
Chapel Hill, NC, USA
— 2 weeks away
More Events