Montana Poultry Growers Cooperative
Tuesday, August 10-7am Meeting
Present via Zoom: Jan & Wil Tusick, Laura Garber, Joe Senger, Katie DeFelice, Jackie Heinert
Jan shared information that the Dept. of Livestock has approved the Hamilton facility at a 1,000-bird exemption. The purpose of this meeting, per Jan, is, “In the eyes of the regulator we are ready to go, in the eyes of the Board, are we ready to go?”
Cost for Facility use:
- Joe said he thinks cost is not the biggest factor; however, we want to make sure Homestead’s costs are covered. A minimum fee of $50 for example, and then and additional cost per bird. One way to figure out costs would be to calculate the propane needed for the scalder, and work from there.
- A cleaning deposit is also necessary, a price was not discussed.
- In the past the Co Op fee was $50/day for facility use, and $XX per bird.
- Laura noted that an entire day is lost when someone checks in to use the facility, with users needing an orientation, occasional equipment malfunction, and checking out. It would be helpful to have someone relatively available to greet, orient, and answer questions. The Board needs to figure out how to streamline this so Homestead isn’t always carrying the burden and putting time in.
- Laura and Henry plug the scalder in a couple hours ahead of time to begin warming the water. There is also the kill station set-up, and Laura is hoping to establish an outdoor kill station, cutting down clean up time.
- Joe created a 7-page document on using the rental equipment, which is stored at his farm. He suggests making a similar document for use in the facility, and have in-facility documents, placards, etc. Joe will send the rental document out to the group to look over.
- Minimum of 100 birds to use facility, otherwise rental equipment would be best for users with fewer birds.
- Laura suggested a couple of orientations for all potential facility users in the spring and early summer (could include rental equipment users), eliminating the need for multiple orientations over the year. Users could get on schedule to pick up cages ahead of time.
- In other years, dates were put on a calendar for users to sign up, this could be communicated to the State Inspector to ensure they know dates to come in and audit paperwork or facility.
- The rental agreement should state that user must supply ice (give estimate as to how much per 100 birds) and haul off guts. The walk-in freezer is usable for the day to cool birds, but not long-term.
- All written documents needed include key HACCP records, to be shared in a Google Drive folder.
- Joe will work up a quote to address the peeling paint inside the facility.
The Board determined the facility will officially launch in 2022, and will invite press, etc. to the orientation.