Main Street Project - Production Manual & Model Verification
Main Street Project has developed a model to create an avenue into agricultural entrepreneurship for low-income immigrants via high quality, sustainable agricultural production for local food markets and values-based consumers. The production method is designed to produce a natural poultry product using the Label Rouge bird made popular by pastured poultry enthusiasts in France; incorporates an alternative feeding system of forages and sprouted grain on small plots; aims to improve soil health for crops by incorporating poultry and perennials in the same system; utilizes polycultures to naturally control pests and reduce the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and increases long-term overall production potential by stacking agricultural enterprises on the same land including perennial fruit and nut crops.
SERP brought in a retired Extension Educator to edit and augment Main Street Project's Free Range Meat Poultry Production Manual. An Applied Economics graduate student is now developing a production and sales cost profile for the chicken-side of the system, as well as a description of the current US and MN wholesale markets for fresh and frozen pasture-raised chicken.
The team was awarded a Healthy Food, Healthy Lives Institute Community-University Partnership Grant to research and verify food safety and nutritional health aspects of the model during calendar year 2014.
SE RSDP is currently supporting a second round of research evaluating worker health and safety, examining labor and profitability impacts, and measuring production efficiency. If findings are positive, this research will allow the RSDPs and Extension to promote this model as a production option for poultry and produce farmers.
- U of M: Applied Economics, Bioproducts/Biosystems Engineering, Environmental Health Sciences, Extension, Soil-Water-Climate, Water Resources Center
- Community: Main Street Project, Southwoods Permaculture Institute
- SERP FY2013: $771.19
- SERP FY2014: $7,480.37
- SERP FY2015: $4,497.30
- SERP FY2015 allocation: $13,749.60
- SERP FY2016 allocation: $20,624.40
- HFHL grant award: $48,795