If you'd like to grow and scale your direct-to-consumer meat business, then this online meat business training program is designed for you! Over 1,000 people have now taken the Western Meat School, which is a testament to its content, accessibility, and timeliness.
Whether you're a livestock producer, meat processor, distributor, or retailer the business of selling niche meats has reached a new level of frustration and opportunity. Competition is fierce, you have to differentiate yourself and your brand.
This online training program created by the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network of OSU, along with project partners, can help you sidestep the common frustrations and help you stand out and thrive.
Over the course of eight weeks, you will learn proven techniques to:
In short, this meat business training program is an innovative and unique learning experience that will teach you how to successfully market and sell your niche meat products.
Avoid the common (and pricey) pitfalls and common mistakes by having direct access to the experts.
You’ll learn all the essentials for direct marketing niche meat from experts in production, marketing, processing and pricing and how to sell in multiple market channels.
In addition to all of the course materials (recorded presentations, slides, and handouts), you'll also be able to chat and pose questions to your instructors and classmates and you'll have rare access to the entire project team for up to six months after signing up.
PAST STUDENT REVIEW: “I'm a forever champion for this course. The perspectives, insight, and recommendations will help me to refine my thought process and enhance my business model. The networking, even though it was virtual, was outstanding and the resources provided were absolutely wonderful!”
Over eight modules (approximately 20 hours of content) you will learn:
This course is designed for: farmers, ranchers, butchers, meat processors, meat distributors, livestock educators, 4H/FFA students and leaders, and more!
PAST STUDENT REVIEW: "I learned that we need to sell the meat, not the steer. Ultimately, customers want to know why the value of our meat doesn't compare to what is purchased at a store. We need to be knowledgeable about the cuts, where they come from and why consumers are into trends. We need to market to those folks. And this course gave me all of that and more. I loved listening to the panels of producers. The boots on the ground is always the best advice to get. Thank you so much!”
Get started for free and learn from some of our guest experts.
Social media can be a great way to connect with new customers and cultivate loyal customers for your meat business (or other farm products).
Join Dahlia Dill of Chandler Pond Farm from the Northeast Kingdom as she shares what she has learned about best practices using social media to grow your customer base.
How to Boost Revenue and Lower Costs with Online Sales & Logistics
In this round-table webinar, you'll learn how to start with the end in mind and strategically build in your farm to freezer logistics to successfully build and grow your meat business.
Essential LiveStock Practices from Farm to Slaughterhouse
In this webinar, Dr. Ron Gill of Texas A & M AgriLife Extension and Stockmanship & Stewardship will show you the essential tips (and science) to practice that are humane and preserves good meat quality.
“I greatly enjoyed the Western Meat School. I knew what the topics were but did not realize I would get so much out of it from pricing ideas to production and slaughter. Hearing from other farms and ranches all over the Western US was a huge benefit as they had a variety of experience and knowledge to share. I am ready for Western Meat School 201!”
“I’ve taken other more expensive meat/business classes and personally I felt that what I learned in this course was far more applicable and helpful to what I truly needed, especially for the price. The free resources and knowledgeable speakers helped to deepen my understanding of all aspects of the meat industry. I would definitely be interested in taking more classes like this.”
“The Western Meat School is great for any stage you are at in marketing your animals. As beef producers I felt that the knowledge gained from this class was very helpful to making proper changes in our business to become more profitable and meet the consumer needs at the same time.”
“Being a butcher for over 20 years before I became a producer has given me more insight into the business of meat than the average person. Yet, I learned information about marketing I didn't know and I was also given a different way of looking at breaking down an animal to get more cuts and better yields. I learned more about finishing my animals and I also learned about the live animal handling practices that have been implemented since I was a butcher. All of these items will help me to be more effective, efficient, and hopefully profitable as a producer.”
Rebecca is an Extension Specialist and Director of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, housed at Oregon State University. She has a master's degree in International Agricultural Development from the University of California-Davis and was formerly co-owner of TLC Ranch, a mid-scale organic pastured poultry and livestock enterprise in California. She is author of two books on farming- Farms With a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business (2012) and The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat (2015).
David Zarling, is a career butcher with extensive boots-on-the-ground experience in humane handling and slaughter, whole animal fabrication and value-added processing, both as an operator and plant manager. Most recently, David has been traveling the country training small to mid-sized producers and processors to build and maintain profitable businesses while staying true to their values. He provides consulting services to processors, always looking through the lens of 'our people are our greatest asset'. He specializes in plant management training, food safety and operations program management, and new product development. David is transitioning out of his role as Director of Operations for Cured Processing in the North Cascades, a value-added meat processing facility focused on old-world techniques and modern manufacturing values, and is the new Program Manager for NMPAN.
Martha Sullins is an Extension Specialist and affiliate in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Her work focuses on developing tools and information to help livestock producers and fruit and vegetable growers throughout the state identify and reduce business risks. She develops and teaches business management classes, evaluates classroom and field-based educational programs targeted at beginning farmers and ranchers, and works with ag and food producers navigating food safety and business regulations, as well as those starting value-added agricultural enterprises and building new markets for their products. From policy to practices, her goal is to ensure that Colorado food and farm businesses have the ingredients to be successful!