September 14, 2012
A farmers' cooperative is trying to raise more than $400,000 to fund a new processing plant that would bring U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected services to farmers in northwest Washington State.
The North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative hopes to sell about $130,000 in member shares and collect nearly $300,000 from other sources to lease space and build a small processing plant in Whatcom County.
The plans include offering slaughter and processing services covering beef, pork and lamb to co-op members and non-members in three counties. Members will have the option to sell their finished products through the co-op while also receiving marketing assistance to attract local grocery stores, restaurants and institutions seeking to offer local, pasture-raised meat.
Co-op memberships cost between $500 and $2,500 and application funds will be held in escrow until the $411,750 needed to launch operations is raised, according to the co-op's website.
The group is setting a deadline of March 13, 2013, to raise the money, at which point fees will be returned if the group fails to meet its financial goal, although officials hope to have the plant open by the end of next year.
Reprinted in part from meatingplace.com