NC Choices, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, promotes sustainable food systems through the advancement of the local, niche, and pasture-based meat supply chain in North Carolina. NC Choices provides information, technical assistance, educational programming, and networking opportunities for farmers, extension agents, meat processors, buyers, distributors, and consumers.
NC Choices News
While there’s increased interest nationally in local pastured meat, peoples’ purchasing habits and tastes have been conditioned by our industrial food system over the past 50 years to just a handful of cuts. So what happens to the rest of it?
NC Choices' Carolina Meat Conference was featured on PBS' award-winning A Chef's Life with Vivian Howard.
NC Choices offers a large collection of resource documents and multimedia to support the farmers, extension agents, meat processors, buyers, distributors and consumers of North Carolina. See our full library of NC Choices resources here.
- NC Statewide Niche Meat Survey Results by County (2016) JJ Richardson
- NC Processors That Slaughter, Process, & Vacuum Package For Farmers JJ Richardson
- NC State Local Grass-Fed Beef Production Guidelines (2016) JJ Richardson
- How to Sell Pastured Meat Products to Grocery Stores via Direct Store Delivery (2016) JJ Richardson
- FAQs about Processing and Marketing Beef, Pork, Lamb and Goat Meats In North Carolina and South Carolina (2006) JJ Richardson
- NC State Local Finished Beef Production Guidelines (2016) Clara Tang
- NC State Local Pasture-Raised and Pasture-Finished Beef Production Guidelines (2016) Clara Tang
- Special Claims and the Approval Process for Niche Meat Production (2014) Shane McCoy
- NC Choices Technical Assistance Training Manual (2014) Shane McCoy
- Growth in the Niche Meat Sector in North Carolina (2011) Shane McCoy
- USDA Food Safety Inspection Service Nutrition Labeling Compliance Guidelines for NC Meat Handlers and Meat Processors Shane McCoy
- Retailer Talking Points: How to Answer Consumer Questions on Local Meats (2014) Shane McCoy
- Best Management Practices for Ensuring Food Safety for On-Farm Poultry Processing Shane McCoy
- Meat Processor: What Packaging Should I Expect? (2015) Shane McCoy
- Meat Processor: Does your processor offer value added options for sausage products? (2015) Shane McCoy
- Meat Processor: Brining Pork, Value Added Product (2015) Shane McCoy
- NC Choices FAQs: Agricultural Marketing Service’s Withdrawal of the Grass Fed Claim (2016) Waystone Design
- Meat Processor: Meat Yield – How Much Meat am I Getting Back? (2015) Waystone Design
- How to Choose a Meat Processor That’s Right for You (2015) Waystone Design
NC Choices has two moderated listservs. Both listservs are pertinent to commercial producers/farmers, meat processors, food-service professionals, distributors, and buyers directly involved in the local, pastured meat supply chain in and around North Carolina.
NC Choices News listserv serves as a forum for educational and marketing opportunities as they pertain to local and niche meats. Use this list to share:
- Events, scholarly and news articles, educational opportunities, and ideas
- Technical Questions
- Seeking specific consulting services
- Job postings and employment opportunities of NATIONAL interest
- Advertise processing services
To Sign Up for NC Choices’ News: email email@example.com and put “Sign Up for News” in the subject line.
NC Choices Classifieds listserv serves as a forum for meat and livestock commerce for both individuals and commercial interests. It is an “industry only” list and is not intended for use by consumers looking to purchase finished, consumable meat products. Use this list to:
- Buy, sell, trade, lease equipment, and livestock
- Share other commerce and business exchange as it pertains to the niche meat sector
- Announce job postings and employment opportunities of LOCAL interest
- Advertise processing services
To Sign Up for NC Choices Classifieds: email firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Sign Up for Classifieds” in the subject line.
- Amazing Grazing
- NC Cooperative Extension
- North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Meat and Poultry Inspection Division
- Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) – a network and info hub for people and organizations who want small meat processors to thrive. NMPAN offer tools and information for small processors and the farmers, marketers, and meat buyers who depend on them.