Cornell Cooperative Extension Expands MeatSuite Program for Local Farmers in Western New York
Online platform gives local meat producers a new way to connect with the community
Cornell Cooperative Extension is pleased announce the expansion of the Meat Suite program to farms in Western New York. MeatSuite.com, a project of CCE, is a free online directory of regional livestock farms selling meat in bulk quantities. Meat Suite started in 2012 and was introduced in nine counties throughout New York State. Now, more than 16 counties, including Niagara, Ontario, Erie, and Wyoming Counties, are participating. The expansion of the site is funded through the New York Farm Viability Institute. “We are thrilled to bring Meat Suite to Western New York and our local farms. This program has been successful in other regions and we look forward to seeing similar results in our own community”, said Amanda Henning, Agriculture and Food Systems Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County.
Meat Suite is designed to increase freezer trade sales of local meats, connecting farms with consumers. Farms can create free online profiles, containing prices, photographs, descriptions of products, contact information, and more. The platform will give farms a unique opportunity to showcase their products to new customers. “Right now most of our products are sold word of mouth and we are looking at it as a way to reach more people in the region”, said David Bittner of McB’s Hoof and Feather farm. Bittner has already joined MeatSuite.com and found the website “very easy to use”. Consumers who visit the site are able to search for farms and products that match their consumer preferences. As more farms join the website, consumers will have greater options when it comes to purchasing locally produced meats.