BFRDP Projects

A Comprehensive Approach to Growing Successful Beginning Meat Producers
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $599,020
Grant Program: 2018 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Sarah Blacklin
Organization: NC State University College of Animal and Life Sciences


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The goal of the project is to increase the number of beginning farmers and ranchers successfully and profitably raising meat through either pasture-based or silvopasture systems by providing them and their families with novel land acquisition strategies in partnership with land trusts, solar farms, and existing landowners, while also equipping new farmers with targeted knowledge, skills, decision-making tools, and the market and buyer connections that have been identified as needed for these producers to operate profitably and be successfully. CEFS' NC Choices (, working comprehensively to support the meat value chain since 2002, is uniquely equipped to not only identify needs of beginning farmers, in part through their statewide surveys of all registered meat handlers in the state, but to deliver this comprehensive program addressing those identified needs. For this project, we assembled the necessary partners and subject matter experts, identified key choke points for beginning farmers, and proposed high-impact solutions that offered together ensured success. This comprehensive support, including introducing and adapting a Meat and Yield Price Calculator and Meat Suite to expand their markets, resulted in 2,967 beginning farmers who received training, decision-making, and market development tools plus 12 new cohort farmers who entered into model land-share agreements with land partners. Finally, through resource development and training to aid CES agents in serving beginning farmers and via the national conference of land trusts to be held in North Carolina in 2019, we ensured that this project had statewide and national impact.

Number of Participants: 2967


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success