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Resilient Montana Meat Processing: A Conversation with Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network.
October 20, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am MDT
Since June 2020, Montana stakeholders interested in thinking differently about small, decentralized meat processing have gathered for informative discussions as a foundation to reimagine the industry.
Rebecca Thistlethwaite shares the vision of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network that strives to be a stable base of profitable and nimble small and mid-sized meat processors that are essential to bringing sustainably- and humanely-raised meat and poultry to local and regional markets. Our theory of change is that connecting meat processors to each other and to supply-chain actors create opportunities for peer-exchange, problem-solving, better understanding of different challenges and needs of the sustainable meat value chain. Incorporating the whole array of interests involved is essential to the long-term viability of the niche meat sector.
Rebecca stepped into the Director role in 2019 after three years as the NMPAN Program Manager. 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) and provides business and marketing consulting for sustainable farms and food businesses. Rebecca has over 23 years working in agriculture in many different facets, from farmworker and farm owner to agricultural researcher, training beginning farmers, and policy advocacy. Rebecca lives in the Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon with her two children. When not running NMPAN, you will find her cooking, trail running, health coaching, or volunteering for local schools.
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