THE NEW LIVESTOCK FARMER: THE BUSINESS OF SELLING AND RAISING ETHICAL MEAT
Author: Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Jim Dunlop
How can anyone, from a backyard hobbyist to a large-scale rancher, raise and sell ethically produced meats directly to consumers, restaurants, and butcher shops? With the rising consumer interest in grass-fed, pasture-raised, and antibiotic-free meats, how can farmers most effectively tap into those markets and become more profitable? The regulations and logistics can be daunting enough to turn away most would-be livestock farmers, and finding and keeping their customers challenges the rest.
Farmer, consultant, and author Rebecca Thistlethwaite (Farms with a Future) and her husband and co-author, Jim Dunlop, both have extensive experience raising various pastured livestock in California and now on their homestead farm in Oregon. The New Livestock Farmer provides pasture-based production essentials for a wide range of animals, from common farm animals (cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep, and goats) to more exotic species (bison, rabbits, elk, and deer).
Each species chapter discusses the unique requirements of that animal, then delves into the steps it takes to prepare and get them to market. Profiles of more than 15 meat producers highlight some of the creative ways these innovative farmers are raising animals and direct-marketing superior-quality meats.
In addition, the book contains information on a variety of vital topics:
- Governmental regulations and how they differ from state to state.
- Slaughtering and butchering logistics, including on-farm and mobile processing options and sample cutting sheets.
- Packaging, labeling, and cold-storage considerations.
- Principled marketing practices.
- Financial management, pricing, and other business essentials.
This book is a must-read for anyone serious about raising meat animals ethically, outside of the current consolidated, unsustainable CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) system. It offers a clear, thorough, well-organized guide to a subject that will become increasingly important as the market demand for pasture-raised meat grows stronger.