Value-Added Agriculture

Kentucky Value-Added Agriculture Partnerships Result in Delicious Success

Brooks Meats produce their new apple chicken brats.Brooks Meats produce their new apple chicken brats.
Walton, KY

Brooks Meats in Walton, Kentucky began with the dream of owner Steve Brooks. After years of working in the slaughter business, Brooks had a vision of creating a butcher shop and retail market where people could come and get local, top grade meats, and farm fresh produce. In 1985 Brooks and his wife Mary Catherine decided to go after the dream and opened Brooks Meats. MORE >>

ACDP Aids Alaska Oyster Cooperative

Prince of Wales Island

Oysters grow well in Sea Otter Sound on Prince of Wales Island, in fact the local oyster farmers claim the Sound’s cold clear water produces some of the best tasting oysters in the world. But, unless you are a connoisseur you probably have not heard of them. Oyster farming in Alaska is a relatively new industry and there just are not that many Alaska grown oysters available. The State of Alaska began leasing shellfish farming sites in 1998 and the industry has not yet taken off as hoped. The farms around Sea Otter Sound illustrate the problems the industry faces and the Alaska Oyster Cooperative offers solutions to some of these challenges. MORE >>

Succession Planning Strives to Preserve Local Jobs and Ownership


Madeline Schultz, email

Succession planning is the process of transferring the ownership and management of an on-going business to new owners and managers. Keeping small businesses vibrant and operational is important for the longevity and prosperity of rural communities. Cooperative models of employee ownership provide unique business succession opportunities and it is helpful for business owners to be aware of the many choices for succession planning. MORE >>

Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative

Lancaster, PA
A project of: Keystone Development Center

Cathy Smith,

The Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative (LFFC) is a farmer owned cooperative in southeastern Pennsylvania. LFFC represents 40 farmer owners all located in Lancaster County. The cooperative is made up of Amish and Mennonite farmers who take great pride in building their soil to produce healthy plants, animals and people. The Keystone Development Center (KDC) supported the start-up activities of the cooperative and assisted the group in incorporation, by-law development, and board education. KDC provided a local facilitator during the start-up year (2005). MORE >>

Dakota Provisions

Producers in front of a Dakota Provisions signProducers in front of a Dakota Provisions sign
Huron, South Dakota

The cooperative of 44 turkey producers, is turning turkeys into ready-to-eat slices, ground meat and other raw meat products at its Dakota Provisions processing plant near Huron, South Dakota.

At maximum production, Dakota Provisions 500 employees currently process 3.6 million raw birds into about 500,000 pounds of ready-to-eat products a week. MORE >>

Dakota Quality Grain

Parshall, North Dakota

With the assistance of the Rural Electric and Telecommunications Development Center and Mountrail-Williams Electric, Dakota Quality Grain, LLC in Parshall received REDLG funds to construct a 20,500-ton hub fertilizer plant. MORE >>

Grasshoppers Distribution: A Local Advantage


Out of a shared frustration with distribution options for small farmers, a group of producers came together to create Grasshoppers Distribution, LLC to be that conduit between the farm and the consumer. MORE >>

Midwest Biodiesel Producers

Tanker truck filling up at the plant, 2007.Tanker truck filling up at the plant, 2007.
Alexandria, South Dakota

Midwest Biodiesel Producers loaded their first tanker of biodiesel in January 2007. Ten agricultural producers formed the Alexandria, South Dakota cooperative to add value to their oilseed crops. The facility has the capacity to produce 7 million gallons per year of biodiesel and the scope and has plans to expand the scope to include the crushing of oilseeds.

Natural Gold

Members with shovels at ground breaking for the plantMembers with shovels at ground breaking for the plant
Aberdeen, South Dakota

Natural Gold in Aberdeen, South Dakota has the capacity to crush 5 million bushels of soybeans into an environmentally friendly soy-based refined oil. The oil will be a component of Dakota Additive (an all-natural soybean-ethanol agri-biodiesel product blended with a natural additive) that improves efficiencies in over the road diesel engines. Soy meal, a co-product of the production process, is made into a livestock feed ingredient for area producers.

South Dakota Oilseed Processors

Six men break ground for the oilseed processing plantSix men break ground for the oilseed processing plant
South Dakota

South Dakota Oilseed Processors is a state-of-the-art 375 ton per day soybean crushing facility that creates a natural oil and meal co-product. The plant will come online in December 2008 and annually produce 95,500 ton of soybean meal and 41 million pounds of soybean oil from 4.1 million bushels of soybeans.