The Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network (NMPAN) is excited to announce a new hybrid learning short course created for small meat producers and processors. Called the Western Meat School, it is a collaborative effort between NMPAN at Oregon State University, Montana State University, University of Wyoming, Colorado State University, and Mesalands Community College. It's funded by Western Extension Risk Management Education grants and the Globetrotter Foundation.

The Western Meat School offers an innovative six-week learning experience in November and December where farmers, ranchers, butchers, and others will learn how to direct market meat. The course will cover topics in production, processing, and marketing to help you produce high-quality meat and sell to diverse market channels. Participants will learn new ways to manage risk and improve profitability.

Expert speakers, both practitioners and academics, will be beaming in via Zoom for six Wednesday evenings in a row. Classes will take place in-person (COVID willing) at 12 different locations in the five organizing states where facilitators will help guide the discussion as participants listen to the presenters on the big screen or from the comfort of their home.

With in-person class locations in Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico as well as online access, this hybrid course will reach you people wherever they are. If any class sites are unable to meet due to local COVID restrictions, 100% of the course will be available online. The organizers are making this short course as flexible as possible for those who want to meet and network in person or those who want to learn from home.

The Western Meat School is designed for the following audiences:

  • Farmers & Ranchers with at least a couple years experience
  • Meat Processors & Butchers
  • Meat Buyers, Distributors, Retailers
  • Agricultural Professionals, Extension Specialists
  • NGOs working on local livestock and meat supply chain

The livestock species covered in this course include:

  • Beef & bison
  • Pigs
  • Sheep & Goats
  • NOTE: The course does not cover poultry, but many of the subjects could apply to processing and selling poultry

Enrollment is now open. Go to to reserve your spot today! Investment is $120/individual or $160 for a couple/business partners. A limited number of scholarships are available for low-income individuals and people of color.

Source: NMPAN