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Want to know what it costs to run a mobile slaughter unit (MSU)? That will vary from place to place, but these resources will help you figure out what your operating costs might be if you decide to go mobile.
MSU Business Plan from Oregon
Rusted Gate Farm, a non-profit farm in Central Point, Oregon, commissioned a business plan for a prospective mobile slaughter unit to be operated on their farm and in their region of SW Oregon. Data is from 2022. Ultimately, based on the business plan findings and other developments in the region, the non-profit decided NOT to purchase and operate a mobile slaughter unit. Yet they are generously providing this business plan and the financial appendices to share with other groups who may be considering a MSU. The plan makes clear that is is very difficult to breakeven on one of these units, not only having enough volume year-round for them to cash flow but also being able to charge enough to cover the costs of operation. RGF director will happily receive your questions should you have any- Jo Ann Shannon, email: email@example.com
Financial Appendices of different scenarios:
NMPAN’s Small Meat Processor Business Planning Guide (published in 2011) has a section with real financial information from a real mobile slaughter unit operating under USDA inspection in California. In that document you’ll find a summary of MSU start-up costs, cash flow projections, profit/loss statements, and financial assumptions/explanations. We recommend you read the whole guide, but the MSU section starts on p. 27. This planning guide is being updated in 2023 with current financial data.
This cost calculator, described in NMPAN’s December 2008 webinar, “Mobile Processing Units: What’s the State of the Art?”, is based on data from a USDA-inspected unit operating in southeastern Washington.
A feasibility study done by University of Nevada/Reno details construction and operational costs for two mobile units and a stationary fabrication facility. None of it was built, but the cost and revenue projections provide a useful template.