Regionally Sourced Meat: Product Spotlight [Webinar Recording]

Tania Taranovski, Director of Programs

Product Spotlight: Regionally Sourced Meat 

How to Increase Regionally Sourced Meat at Institutions

Webinar Recorded: December 5, 2019 | Download the slides (PDF)

Host Organization: Farm to Institution New England and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network

Has your institution struggled to meet the demand for regionally produced and processed and humanely raised meat? Join FINE and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network (FSCN) for a one-hour webinar to learn more about the unique challenges facing meat production in New England, and some ways that institutions and allies are working to solve those challenges.

High costs of locally produced meat and low availability continue to challenge institutional commitments to local food sourcing. As reported in FINE's Campus Dining 201 report, meat and poultry are the most difficult product categories to source locally. Learn more about the reasons behind the supply and demand challenges and explore a variety of ways institutions can work on increasing local meat sourcing. Join the conversation with Jamie Picardy from the University of Southern Maine's Food Studies Program; Rebecca Thistlethwaite, director of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network; and Mike Webster from The Hotchkiss School, who is also part of a 2018 New England Food Vision Prize-winning team that is working on increasing their local meat sourcing.


  • Tania Taranovski, Director of Programs, Farm to Institution New England


  • Jamie Picardy, Assistant Professor, University of Southern Maine, Food Studies Program
  • Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Director, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network
  • Mike Webster, General Manager, Hotchkiss School and Co-Chair of the New England Farm and Sea to Campus Network’s Supply Chain Development Working Group

Jamie Picardy is an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Maine where she teaches in the Food Studies Program. She was previously a faculty member of Geography at Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts and at the Community College of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.  She completed her Doctorate degree at Tufts University in the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program through the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. As a program developer, she has established K-12 agricultural literacy curriculum and undergraduate geography degrees. Her interdisciplinary research in food systems addresses key issues of small and mid-sized farm viability, consumer food preference, animal welfare, food policy, and labeling. Recently, she examined niche pork as an alternative to commodity pork in terms of production potential and land requirements as well as consumer interest in differentiated meat products.

Rebecca Thistlethwaite is the Director of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN). She has a master’s degree in International Agricultural Development from the University of California – Davis and was formerly co-owner of TLC Ranch, an organic pastured poultry and livestock enterprise in California. She is also author of two books on farming, Farms With a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business (2012) and The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat (2015). Rebecca lives in the Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon with her two children. When not running NMPAN, you will find her cooking, trail running, or volunteering for local schools. 

Mike Webster is the General Manager of Dining Services at The Hotchkiss School. Mike focuses on combining culinary traditions with sustainable agriculture in an effort to create an enjoyable dining experience while educating the future leaders of America. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, food is an important priority and a primary focus for Webster; bringing REAL food to REAL people is an ongoing goal. Mike has worked to create a progressive dining program, centered on local, sustainable and ethical cuisine. He is a member of a 2018 New England Food Vision Prize-winning team that is collaborating to develop a replicable model for upscaling the procurement of whole animals for nose-to-tail utilization in campus dining. Mike lives in Lakeville, CT with his wife Lynn, twin daughters Olive and Emilie, and Remi – the Dog.

FINE’s Farm & Sea to Campus webinar series creates peer-to-peer learning opportunities for dining program directors, chefs, foodservice operators, supply chain businesses, and other community partners who are engaged in procuring and promoting New England food. This webinar is the third in a series focusing on specific product categories and how to improve local sourcing. See our other webinars to date on seafood and grains.


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