Farmers Union series on meat processing kicks off this week

A winter series on the challenges and opportunities around meat markets and processing in Wisconsin kicks off this week with a November 11 virtual panel discussion on “Beefing Up Markets & Processing.” Hosted by the Columbia, Sauk and Chippewa County Farmers Union chapters, the event is open to the public and will focus on beef markets and food supply chains.

Panelists will include:

·       Dorothy Harms, Valley Springs Farm and vice president of the Sauk County Farmers Union

·       Kurt Larson, CEO of Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association

·       Jeff Swenson, DATCP Livestock and Meat Specialist

The discussion will be moderated by Columbia County Farmers Union Vice President Sarah Lloyd.

“COVID-19 and the resulting economic shutdown really showed us how brittle our agricultural markets are. We look forward to coming together to learn how farmers are doing and discuss how we can make markets and supply chains more robust in this new reality,” said Lloyd, who farms with her husband and his family at NelDell Farms in Wisconsin Dells.

The panel discussion will kick off at 7pm. There will be time for Q&A from participants and a look at how current Wisconsin Farmers Union policy covers beef markets and meat processing. WFU members are invited to stay on after the panel to talk about possible policy resolutions regarding beef markets and processing for 2021 WFU policy.

To receive the Zoom link or phone number, please register by clicking on the event and then the “Register for Event” button in the upper righthand corner at

 “Meat Processing Infrastructure was one of the Special Orders of Business set by the grassroots membership at our 2020 convention, and it’s an issue that has become even more critical in light of the supply chain struggles around the pandemic,” said Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden. “This series will give farmers, processors, rural leaders, and other stakeholders a chance to come together in search of creative solutions.”  

The series will continue through the winter months with meetings focused on solutions to meat processing struggles in the state. Following sessions, all set for noon, will cover the following topics:

·       December 10: Farmer & Processor Perspectives

·       January 14: Mobile Slaughtering & Creative On-Farm Solutions 

·       January 28: Cooperative & Community Solutions

·       February 11: State & Federal Policy Solutions 

·       March 11: Labor Solutions

Each of the virtual events will include a Zoom webinar or call-in option. RSVP at Learn more about this topic and potential solutions at