Who We Are

State Affiliates and National Contacts

Click here to learn more about our state affiliates and nation contacts.


Arion Thiboumery
Arion Thiboumery works for Iowa State University Extension in Rural Development and Meat Science. In Iowa, he works regularly with small meat processors and coordinates the state-wide Small Meat Processors Working Group, which brings together many Iowa assistance providers and associations to support small meat processors and diversified agriculture.
Email: arion[at]iastate.edu

Lauren Gwin
Dr. Lauren Gwin is research and extension faculty in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Oregon State University. She works with Oregon’s small meat processors and the livestock producers and local/niche markets that depend on them. She also coordinates a state-wide working group convened by the state department of agriculture to find solutions to the state’s processing-related challenges.
Email: lauren.gwin[at]oregonstate.edu

Advisory Board

(Listed alphabetically by state)

ARKANSAS: Dr. Anne Fanatico has led the poultry program for 15 years at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), a nonprofit organization that operates ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. She develops farmer-friendly material on alternative poultry production, including free-range and organic poultry, and processing information for small and mid-size establishments.
Email: afanati[at]uark.edu  Phone: (479) 575-2391.

IOWA: Dr. Joseph Cordray is the Extension meat specialist at Iowa State University (ISU) and has over 40 years experience in all facets of the meat industry. He is responsible for the ISU series of sausage and processed meat short courses. He works extensively with Iowa meat processors on food safety training and regulatory compliance.
Email: jcordray[at]iastate.edu  Phone: (515) 294-4266.

MONTANA: Jeff Schahczenski is a program specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology. He is an agricultural economist and has expertise in the economics and marketing of organic and grass-finished beef.
Email: jeffs[at]ncat.org  Phone: (406) 494-4572.

NORTH CAROLINA: Jennifer Curtis is the project director of NC Choices, a Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) initiative utilizing a farm-to-fork approach to enhance sustainable animal agriculture, pasture-based production systems, small-scale, decentralized meat processing, and consumer access to local, healthy food choices. (CEFS is a partnership of North Carolina State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture).
Email: jennifer[at]ncchoices.com  Phone: (919) 967-0014.

PENNSYLVANIA: Dr. Catherine Cutter is an associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Food Safety Extension Specialist in muscle foods at Pennsylvania State University. She works with small processors in the northeast U.S. and co-leads a national project on food safety outreach to small and very small plants.
Email: cnc3[at]psu.edu  Phone: (814) 865-8862.

WASHINGTON: Bruce Dunlop, a livestock producer and member of Island Grown Farmers Cooperative, built the first mobile USDA-inspected red-meat abattoir and has consulted on many others. Previously, he was a chemical engineer in the bio-ag and food industries.
Email: bruce[at]lopezislandfarm.com   Phone: (360) 468-4620.

Keith Payne, Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training, in the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Email: Keith.Payne[at]fsis.usda.gov  Phone: (202) 690-6522.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Ralph Stafko, Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training, in the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Email: ralph.stafko[at]fsis.usda.gov  Phone: (202) 418-8897.

WISCONSIN: Pam Saunders is the operations and quality manager for Organic Prairie, the meat subsidiary and brand of CROPP Cooperative/ Organic Valley, which is the largest organic farmer cooperative in the US. Organic Prairie manages relationships with about a dozen certified organic co-packers for beef, pork, chicken, and turkey processing, from harvest to ready-to-eat branded products.
Email: pam.saunders[at]organicvalley.com   Phone: (608) 625-2666 ext.3260.

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