The last couple of years have seen a strong growth in the number of meat businesses. Entrepreneurs see the need for small-scale slaughter and processing operations, and they have started businesses or expanded existing operations. A new guide helps to bring together some important considerations into one location.

“So You Want to Start a Meat Plant” is a primer that was developed by the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network with contributions from the USDA, University of Kentucky, Colorado State University and Penn State’s Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. It discusses some of the requirements, costs and planning that must be considered when you decide to build a new facility. It also provides a case study in a couple of different processors, who give tips on what you need to know ahead of time.

There are plenty of big issues that need to be considered when making big decisions. It’s the little issues, though, that can add up and increase your costs and your stress levels.  I’m in the process of starting a kitchen remodel. The big issues have been dealt with – wall color, cabinet style, wood type. Those were all obvious decisions that we had to consider. The annoying things are the ones that I didn’t really think about – outlet switchplates, the knobs vs. pulls hardware debate, or the type of kitchen faucet. The small things, the not-so-obvious ones, can lead to big headaches if you don’t plan for them in advance, which is what makes such a guide so valuable. If you are looking to start a new business or build a new facility, it’s worth downloading the guide and get a good idea of the scope of your project.

Sam Gazdziak