Workshop Explores Specialty Poultry Markets

December 21st, 2002

AMES, Iowa — Chef Kurt Chausse's New Year's Eve menu features one of his restaurant's newest and more popular items, roasted free-range chicken. He has purchased locally grown vegetables the past three years, so when Story County producer Wende Elliott began to market organic poultry, he was interested.
"I told her I'd try it because I like to support local farmers," said Chausse, the executive chef at Aunt Maude's in Ames. "But this is a superior product and it's definitely been well received."
Chausse and Elliott are just two of the speakers who will share ways to expand these networks to supply specialty poultry markets at a half-day workshop January 18 at the Gateway Center in Ames.
The workshop, "Creating Value Chains for Niche Poultry Markets," is for people interested in the production, processing, distribution and marketing of organic, pasture-fed, free-range, antibiotic-free or other specialty poultry. It is sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State University Extension's Value Added Agriculture program.
"There's definitely a demand for poultry produced in a different way for specialty and high-end markets but until recently farmers have not organized way to supply these markets," said Rich Pirog, who leads the Leopold Center's new marketing initiative. "We hope this session will bring people and resources together to expand these networks."
The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. with registration and refreshments followed by a facilitated discussion. Joining Chausse and Elliott will be the owner of a successful Wisconsin cooperative that sells organic meat both retail and wholesale, and an official with Iowa's meat and poultry inspection bureau. Breakout sessions are planned to discuss direct marketing and how to set up farmer cooperatives and other networks for processing and distribution. The workshop will conclude at 4:30 p.m.
The poultry workshop is a pre-conference activity of the Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) Annual Meeting and Winter Workshops that will begin at Gateway Center on Friday evening and end with a full-day program on Saturday.
The $10 fee for the poultry workshop is payable at the door. Participants are strongly encouraged to reserve a space by noon, January 11. For more information, contact Rich Pirog at the Leopold Center, (515) 294-1854, or Diane Mayerfeld at ISU Extension, (515) 294-7836.

Contacts: 

Rich Pirog, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, (515) 294-1854
Diane Mayerfeld, ISU Extension, (515) 294-7836

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