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Cooperative Extension: Livestock

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Maine Grass Farmers Network

The Maine Grass Farmers Network supports farmers by gathering and providing information about

  • potential advantages of growing grass as managed pasture for livestock.
  • increasing profitability to keep farms viable and to maintain the rural character of our communities
  • taking advantage of Maine’s short growing season and cool climate.
  • utilizing pasture lands effectively, while improving animal health, product quality, and market advantage.

Become a member.


Maine Animal Health Lab

Meat Processing Study Released

For the past 18 months livestock producers in northern Vermont have been looking at ways to improve and increase their slaughter and processing options. One of the study’s most significant finding was that there is not a shortage of slaughtering capacity state-wide, but a shortage of processing capacity. An increase in the availability of USDA processing services since the study began, and the potential for more capacity in the near future, contributed to the group’s decision to not buy an existing slaughterhouse or build a new processing plant at this time.

The report includes:

  • Description of the regulatory issues faced by a slaughter or processing facility operating in Vermont;
  • An assessment of the market for a potential slaughter or processing facility in Vermont
  • Competition analysis of the existing slaughterhouses in Vermont
  • Recommended options for this group, including estimated costs
  • Capital budget for processing facility
  • Operating budget for processing facility

The report’s recommendations include:

  • explore collaborative and creative options for trucking livestock and finished product
  • develop on-line scheduling and cut lists, and standardize labels
  • state level support and producer participation in education
  • demonstration and technical assistance efforts to mitigate the seasonal nature of Vermont’s livestock industry
  • monitor emerging developments such as the Food Venture Center’s
  • activities to address the shortage of USDA-licensed meat processing capacity

The Slaughterhouse Feasibility Study was conducted by Sleeping Lion Associates, Montpelier, Vermont, and the report on the study is available at; do a search for Slaughterhouse Feasibility Study.

The Study was funded by a Vermont Community Development grant to the Town of Troy, subgranted to Pride of Vermont Farms, LLC, grants from the Vermont Community Loan Fund and the Agency of Agriculture, and in-kind services from the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Cooperative Development Institute from Pride of Vermont Farms.

Maine Grass Farmers Network is coordinated and sponsored by:

University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Contact: Rick Kersbergen
1.800.287.1426 or

Contact: Diane Schivera
207.568.4142 or PO Box 170, Unity ME 04988

Natural Resources Conservation Service
Contact: Alice Begin

990.9568 or

Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative

Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
Contact: 207.287.3871

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University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Livestock
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188 or 800.287.0274 (in Maine)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System