Meat processors looking for answers to common industry questions have a new one-stop digital resource. The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) has launched an Animal Protein Processing Resource Database.
The database provides information on training and financial programs allowing businesses to learn about available resources and make informed decisions. Established and aspiring business owners can find answers to common questions via the searchable database that can also be filtered by topic, species and location.
The tool is part of a collaboration between AURI and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Services (USDA-AMS). The goal of the joint effort is to ensure a viable local and regional small-to-medium-scale meat processing industry, utilizing a variety of support mechanisms. The partnership is part of an ongoing effort to strengthen the competitiveness of meat and poultry processing facilities and related businesses by identifying needs of the industry and addressing them.
Conversations among industry stakeholders revealed a need for a centralized location for information from trusted sources that could address common questions that new and established meat processing businesses face. The database launched in late 2022, and focuses on the needs of new entrants, established firms and other groups looking for information on business development, technical assistance, training, financial assistance and regulatory assistance. The resource will be updated with new information based on feedback and suggestions.
AURI assists Midwest and Minnesota based food and agriculture companies by providing them with access to experts, scientists and creative thinkers who drive innovation and propel solutions within meat science for the benefit of the state of Minnesota.
Laura Bachmeier, AURI’s Business Development Director of Meat, said the resource will provide processors with reliable, up-to-date information and opportunities to connect with state and national protein groups for further conversation on specific topics.
“The intention of the Animal Protein Processing Resource Database is to make it easier for processors and other stakeholders in the Upper Midwest to find information on common topics. Whether it be options available for training, questions about food safety, financials or assistance with a business model, we created a convenient hub that new entrants and existing businesses can utilize,” she said. “We were able to access and curate existing and underutilized resources to build this robust tool. We believe this database will be a valuable resource for meat processors to help meet their business needs.”
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s mission is to foster long-term economic benefit through value-added agricultural products. It accomplishes this by using science and technology to help develop new uses for agricultural products. It partners with businesses and entrepreneurs to generate economic impact in Minnesota communities by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areas: biobased products, renewable energy, coproducts and food. AURI provides a broad range of services, including applied research and development, scientific assistance and a targeted network of resources to develop value-added uses for crops and coproducts.