Pastured Poultry: New Opportunity for Area Farmers

Local farmers have an opportunity to “get a piece of the pastured poultry pie” by raising poultry to meet growing demand from big city consumers. On April 19, the Alliance co-hosted an event with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs to help promote poultry production as a way to diversify local farming operations by turning grain into a value-added product.

Petersburg Poultry Processing founder, Cavan Sullivan, invited the Alliance and the IIRA to help him get out the word to local producers to consider a value-added poultry operation to their grain farms. Cavan has the market relationships and the processing capacity but needs more local farmers raising birds to meet the consumer demand.

The event drew over 50 area producers, which started with a tour of the family owned, USDA-inspected processing facility. After the tour, the group headed to nearby Hand of Fate Brewery to hear from Cavan as well as local, state and federal officials on the resources available for farmers to launch a successful poultry enterprise. Cavan described the kind of infrastructure needed – encouraging farmers to consider repurposing old buildings – and what could be expected as a return on their investment.

Other speakers included Patrick Evan from the Illinois Finance Authority, Tony Schmillen and Brittany Parker, Loan Officers from the USDA Farm Service Administration, and Robin Hanna from the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs.

Read more about the event and Cavan’s operation in AgriNews.

Learn more about how to add pastured poultry to your operation and what resources are available here