NC Choices Technical Assistance Project Training Manual

In 2013-2014, NC Choices and the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network collaborated on a project to provide direct technical assistance on a range of topics to a group of small-scale meat processors across North Carolina. The goal of the project, “Supporting Sustainable Rural Economic Development through Advancement of North Carolina’s Niche Meat Industry,” was to improve the quality and quantity of processing services available to the state’s livestock producers, to enhance the economic viability of both producers and processors. The project was funded by the North Carolina Rural Center.

To share project results and innovations, NC Choices and NMPAN created a training manual that describes information, strategies, and recommendations developed during this project that may be useful to other processors around the country. The manual is intended both for processors and for individuals and organizations that provide similar support to processors in their regions. It provides a “toolbox,” describing each tool or strategy learned from the project and real life challenges the processors faced along the way.

Download the manual (pdf: 3MB) by clicking the title below.

NC Choices Technical Assistance Training Manual

Advancing Local and Niche Meat Supply Chains 

Authors: Lauren Gwin, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network; Casey McKissick and Sarah Blacklin, NC Choices

Table of Contents

Introduction: project background, purpose, and process; profiles of the participating processors

Strategies and Tools for Small-Scale Processors

  1. HACCP in the Cloud: Electronic Records Management for a Very Small Plant
  2. Improving Communication with Customers
  3. Addressing Inefficiencies and Bottlenecks
  4. Spreadsheets for Sausage Recipes
  5. Order and Inventory Management
  6. Adding Ready-to-Eat to Your Business

General Guidance for Processors and Technical Assistance Providers

  1. Checklist for a Farmer-Owned Butcher Shop in North Carolina
  2. Guidance for Starting a Local Butcher Shop
  3. Guidance on Packaging Equipment
  4. Tips for Technical Assistance Providers


Version date: Nov. 3, 2014

Copyright: NC Choices

Scroll to Top