The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN), a Cooperative Extension program housed at Oregon State University, works on a national and international scale to strengthen the niche meat supply chain. Since 2008, NMPAN has built a worldwide community of people and organizations dedicated to helping small meat processors thrive.

This year, NMPAN celebrates 10 years of service and work toward achieving their vision of a stable base of profitable and nimble small- and mid-sized processors who are essential to bringing sustainably- and humanely-raised meat and poultry to local and regional markets. As part of their 10 year anniversary, NMPAN conducted an extensive evaluation of their impacts to date and the future of their work.

This research has been compiled into a short Executive Summary and a more detailed Full Report. Both can both be found on the NMPAN website at:

The primary takeaway from the assessment is that NMPAN has built a successful and useful community. Members and stakeholders feel satisfied and empowered by their participation. They believe the organization has achieved its original goals of building a national community and a developing a respected, robust resource hub.

"Every time we had a crisis... having NMPAN as a resource is amazing." - grass-fed beef producer and aggregator

Respondents say relationships and easy access to knowledge are the most valued benefits of the network, and the 1,200-member listserv, website, and webinars are its most used tools. NMPAN's biggest challenge however, is demand for its services exceeds current capacity. Many members would like to see the organization expand so that it can do more things for more people.

Following up on the results of the evaluation, NMPAN is laying out its goals for the next 10 years which include:

1)     Continue to be the hub that connects niche meat supply chain actors

2)     Provide more peer-reviewed information in a multitude of formats

3)     Facilitate peer-to-peer learning

4)     Be a central resource for policy-makers and engage membership in policy-making

5)     Continuously evaluate and adapt to stay current

6)     Provide for the sustainability of organization

In order to expand capacity and implement these goals, NMPAN is launching a new business sponsorship campaign called "10 for 10 for 10". To celebrate 10 years of service and the next 10 years, the organization is seeking a minimum of 10 business sponsors at a one-time $10,000 sponsorship level. Other sponsorships are available as well.

"I think it's fair to say we could not have opened our own processing plant and been successful without NMPAN." - retail butcher/processor

Businesses who participate in the sponsorship program will gain access to a network of over 1,200 meat processors and producers, excellent marketing exposure and other benefits. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please visit

For more information, contact Rebecca Thistlethwaite, NMPAN Program Manager at or call 541-806-1526.

Source: NMPAN