A volunteer-led effort has helped a new Oklahoma chicken processor get a good start by selling 1,300 processed chickens in four days. The processing plant’s success is key to regional, small-scale food security since it 1) is in Oklahoma and 2) is a small processor looking to help small, sustainable farmers and 3) is filling a food-supply gap.
From the Oklahoma Gazette:
For years, many struggled to figure out how to build a profitable facility that would cater to independent chicken farmers, so they were surprised in July to learn about Raymond Jones, a Tahlequah man in the final stages of completing a facility.
Jones is the founder and CEO of the DARP Foundation, a non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for offenders who are sent to him through the courts, in lieu of going to prison.
To combat the recession, Jones decided to build a chicken processing plant for independent farmers, staffed entirely by his DARP participants. After USDA inspections, the facility was set to open Sept. 21 and can process 5,000 birds per day. All of the profits support the foundation.
“I wanted to do something that there’s a need for,” Jones said. “We’re not trying to become a Tyson or a Simmons, but we can produce something that is good for the community at much less price than other people can.”
There will be another round of chicken deliveries next week. If you are interested in placing an order, refer to the contact information in my previous post.