Poultry Processing Options for Independent Poultry Operators 2018-06-29T10:17:24+00:00
Due to the 2017 closure of Foothills Pilot Plant, NC Choices will be posting information and updates on the status of poultry processing options across the state.
6/13/2018 UPDATE

Position Announcement: Poultry Plant Manager at Foothills Processing, LLC, in Marion, NC

The ISAMPA Board is working to reopen the poultry plant in Marion, NC to serve independent poultry producers in the region. Foothills Processing is actively seeking a manager to coordinate the resumption of operations and is accepting applications for the position. The following are a sample of the job tasks and functions:

  • Supervise and manage the reopening of the plant and communicate with stakeholders
  • Restore equipment to functioning state
  • Repair any leaks in water system
  • Restore water service
  • Trial poultry processing line
  • Update USDA inspection registration
  • Staff plant sufficient to resume operations

Desirable qualities include: good communicator, effective manager, construction expertise, self-starter and strong initiative, financially savvy and creative problem-solver. This person would report to the leadership of Foothills Processing, LLC, the new company managing the plant. This is a contract position with opportunity for membership. Candidates should email resume, letter of interest and hourly contract rate to foothillsprocessing@gmail.com. No calls, please.


ISAMPA and Foothills Processing, LLC

12/22/2017 UPDATE
Announcement: Special Poultry Processing Exemption Extended Another Year

In an effort to support poultry farmers across the state, Dr. Beth Yongue, Director of NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division, has extended the special exemption which allows poultry exempt operators to slaughter or process other persons’ poultry for another year.  The new expiration date is December 31, 2018. 

We all would like to extend a big thank you to NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division for their continued support of independent poultry producers across the state.  For more details pertaining to the special exemption and farm resources, please visit the NCDA&CS MPID website.

We hope everyone has a safe and joyous holiday,
~NC Choices team
10/27/2017 UPDATE

Due to the lack of poultry processing services before the holidays, Dr. Beth Yongue, Director of NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division, is granting an exemption for a limited period of time (through 12/31/17) which would allow poultry exempt operators to slaughter or process other persons’ poultry, provided all other provisions of MPID Notice 6-14 are followed (detailed below).  This also means that poultry exempt operators can charge for use of their equipment and services and producers can bring all their birds to a central location to process.  This is a big help to those exploring processing options at this time as it will greatly aid in efficiency.

If you are a poultry exempt operator who wants to charge for their services/equipment and process for others you must:

  • Send Dr.Yongue an email (beth.yongue@ncagr.gov) indicating you are an exempt processor and would like to offer your facility, your equipment on-farm, or stationary MPU on your farm for other poultry owners to process poultry under exemptionand/or to provide processing services to other poultry owners who would be otherwise be eligible for exemption, through 12/31/17. Dr. Yongue will review and provide a letter back authorizing that producer to process.  You may also call her office number directly with questions at 919-707-3180

If you are a farmer interested in bringing your poultry to an exempt operator for slaughter:

  • CFSA and NC Choices will post a running list on our websites (pending permission to share contact info from the exempt operators) of who is approved as exempt operators, their contact information, and respective locations.
  • Please note:Farmers will not need to request permission each time they make their facility/equipment on farm available for another farm. Farmers would be well-advised to check with their insurance carrier before offering their facilities for this service.  Farmers using the service would be responsible for keeping their own records of the number of birds they had processed.

Please see notice below and a huge thanks to Dr. Yongue for this time-sensitive exemption!


MPID Notice 6-14 (Revision 2), “Requirements for the Producer/Grower 20,000 Poultry Exemption” item 7. reads:

“With the exception of mobile slaughter units, the facility used to slaughter or process the poultry is not used to slaughter or process another person’s poultry unless the State Director of Meat and Poultry Inspection grants an exemption.”

Due to the closure of the only small poultry processing facility in North Carolina, and the demand for birds over the upcoming Holiday season, I am willing to grant short term exemptions to poultry exempt operators, allowing them to slaughter or process other persons’ poultry, provided all other provisions of MPID Notice 6-14 are followed.  Exemptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis and will expire December 31, 2017.  Requests for this exemption should be made to me in written form (email is fine).

A copy of MPID Notice 6-14 is linked below.


Thank you,


Dr. Beth Yongue
State Director
NCDA & CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division
1001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1001
(919) 707-3180 office
(919) 715-0246 fax

10/2017 UPDATE
As many of you know, Foothills Pilot Plant, the poultry processing facility in Marion, NC operated by Cool Hand Meats announced that it is closing its doors. We know many independent poultry producers in NC are scrambling to try to figure out next steps esp given the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday demands.
NC Choices, NCDA Meat and Poultry Inspection Division, CFSA and others are all working to get information out to folks as soon as possible on next steps for poultry processing in the state.  Cool Hand Meats has a public statement on their website here regarding their current status to stop processing birds.  However, their board is meeting to discuss next steps and they will have more information available to share this week after they meet.
For regulatory questions, please contact NCDA Meat and Poultry Inspection Division http://www.ncagr.gov/MeatPoultry/