Earlier this week, several local beef producers joined others in the region to explore the potential for a producer-owned, value added meat marketing cooperative. Called the Jefferson Market Meat Co-op, the venture would sell shares for beef, sheep and swine animals to be harvested on a schedule. I think it may best be explained as being similar to a time share condominium. One share would get someone the opportunity to take one beef, two swine or five lambs to a slaughter facility on a particular day or week of the year, each year. Once all shares (a total of more than 5,000) are sold, the cooperative is ‘closed.’ Only when a member sells his share(s) could someone else buy in.
There is a lot of talk and a fair amount of action these days about “Local Food Economy.” Most of the effort centers around fruits and vegetables (produce) partly because local marketing of meat has been a bit problematic. While there is still a lot of planning and development to go before this project can fly, there is already a decent marketing plan. With enough producer support, Jefferson Market Meat Cooperative may profitably connect with new customers who value the quality that comes from local farms.
If you did not make the discussion meeting, but are interested in learning more about local meat marketing, please contact the Henry County Extension Office at 845-2811.
Goat Third Thursday
The March Third Thursday Thing at the KSU Mills Lane farm will be at 10 a.m., March 17. The topic for the entire day will focus on goat production. Whether you have meat goats or milk goats, or even sheep for that matter, this workshop concerning small ruminants should give you plenty of useful information. The Third Thursday Thing has been a popular information gathering place and social gathering for many folks who are interested in many of the less traditional farm enterprises.
Contact us at the Henry County Extension Office (845-2811) for further details.
KDA scale certification
The Henry County Farmers Market Association met last week to plan the 2011 production and marketing year. I believe that this will be at least 15 years for the group to offer fresh, locally grown produce to our citizenry on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the courthouse lawn in New Castle.
One of the requirements for selling any produce by the pound is to have a certified scale, and further, to have that scale checked each year. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has been requested to check scales on Thursday, March 10, at the County Extension Office. Just bring your scale(s) by a day or two early, we’ll get them checked, and you can come pick them up late Thursday or in the next few days.
NAP deadline is March 15
The deadline to file an application for natural disaster protection under the Noninsured Assistance Program is March 15. The crops for the deadline are: beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, canola (spring), cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, herbs, lettuce, oats (spring), onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radish, sorghum, soybeans, squash, strawberries, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips and watermelons.
NAP helps producers reduce their risk when growing food and fiber crops, specialty crops, and crops for livestock feed. These benefits are only available for crops for which crop insurance is not available. Producers filing for coverage under the NAP are required to pay a $250 service fee per crop per county not to exceed $750 per producer per county. All crops on all farms in all counties must be insured to be eligible for the program.
Contact the Henry County FSA Service Center at 845-2820 for additional information.