Main Street Project has developed a model to create an avenue into agricultural entrepreneurship for low-income immigrants via high quality, sustainable agricultural production for local food markets and values-based consumers. The production method is designed to produce a natural poultry product using the Label Rouge bird made popular by pastured poultry enthusiasts in France; incorporates an alternative feeding system of forages and sprouted grain on small plots; aims to improve soil health for crops by incorporating poultry and perennials in the same system; utilizes polycultures to naturally control pests and reduce the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and increases long-term overall production potential by stacking agricultural enterprises on the same land including perennial fruit and nut crops.
SERP brought in a retired Extension Educator to edit and augment Main Street Project’s Free Range Meat Poultry Production Manual. An Applied Economics graduate student is now developing a production and sales cost profile for the chicken-side of the system, as well as a description of the current US and MN wholesale markets for fresh and frozen pasture-raised chicken.
The team was awarded a Healthy Food, Healthy Lives Institute Community-University Partnership Grant to research and verify food safety and nutritional health aspects of the model during calendar year 2014. A USDA North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education proposal has been submitted to analyze and verify the economic, ecological and social impacts.
- U of M: Applied Economics, Bioproducts/Biosystems Engineering, Environmental Health Sciences, Extension, Soil-Water-Climate, Water Resources Center
- Community – Main Street Project, Southwoods Permaculture Institute
SERP FY2014 spent: $5,126
SERP additional allocated: $8,000
SERP past funding: $771
HFHL grant: $48,795