Mobile Processing Unit
Growers who want to process a large number of birds, will find that the new Mobile Processing Unit will increase the efficiency of processing and fit within certain state requirements for selling the birds directly to consumers as well as to retail and wholesale markets. Every MPU user will have to undergo training to use the unit.
The mobile poultry processing unit consists of a truck and trailer. Depending on the user’s experience processing birds, it has the capacity to process 50-300 birds per day. Each year, coop members will work out a calendar and schedule for the MPU so that it travels around the state, moving to different regions on predetermined dates. It will be essential to schedule poultry hatching, growing and processing to coordinate with the dates the MPU is in a particular region. Special accommodations for moving the MPU to a single location can be prohibitively expensive.
An annual hands-on training will be conducted to teach new members how to use the unit. Only members who have attended an annual training are eligible to use the MPU.
Contact Mark Rehder of Farms for Families at 406-222-7585 to arrange to use the MPU or find out about training opportunities.
Until recently, the lack of processing facilities has been the biggest barrier to local poultry production in Montana and most of the rest of the country. The Montana Poultry Growers Coop, in collaboration with other funders, are excited to bring local, pasture-raised poultry back to Montana with the Mobile Processing Unit.
This good work was made possible with support from the following funders:
- Farms for Families, a non-profit organization located in Livingston, Montana whose mission is to build healthy communities by growing local food systems;
- The Toledo Community Foundation;
- The Montana Department of Agriculture’s Growth Through Ag Program;
- USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant Programs;
- Lake County Community Development Corporation’s Mission Mountain Cooperative Development Center program, which has provided technical assistance to the cooperative since its inception.