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Telluride, Colorado (December 30, 2020)
Earlier this year, San Miguel County, in partnership with the Telluride Foundation, received a Rural Economic Development Grant (REDI) from the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to conduct a feasibility study on the existing and potential meat processing options for meat producers and hunters. This feasibility study has recently been completed by Goldenhorn Consulting Group, a Tennessee-based group with extensive experience conducting meat processing facility feasibility studies in rural areas.
Goldenhorn Consulting Group presented their findings on December 15, 3pm – 5pm, 2020, to stakeholders and the public via a Zoom meeting, which was well attended and included a question and answer session.
Goldenhorn Consulting Group has met with ranchers and various interested parties local to San Miguel, Ouray, and west Montrose counties to gain insight into the current status of meat processing in the region. Over the last several months, surveys were conducted to assess the meat supplied by farmers and the demand for the regional meat processing facility. These surveys indicate that the majority of surveyed businesses would be interested in purchasing meat produced locally, even if that required paying a premium. Restaurants also indicated that serving local meat is prioritized over serving grass-fed or organic meat. Another survey indicates that producers are in favor of processing meat closer to their farms and ranches. Additionally, the survey findings indicate that a new local processing facility may influence producers to either finish a greater number of cattle for processing or even begin finishing cattle for the first time altogether. Hog and sheep producers indicated they would increase herd sizes if a new facility was constructed or a current facility was updated.
The Draft Survey Results (PDF), Final Study Report (PDF), and the December 15, 2020 Presentation slides (PDF) are being made available to the public with the goal of promoting additional conversations as well as assisting people who might be interested in taking this study to the next step.