Initiative creates opportunities for Hoosiers

Pastured poultry — chickens raised on pasture — are a growing segment of the local foods market and a popular enterprise with small and mid-sized diversified farms.

Purdue Extension invites Hoosiers interested in raising pastured poultry, especially for the purpose of a farm-based enterprise, to attend an upcoming meeting to discuss the opportunities for farmers to collaboratively produce and market pasture poultry.

The first meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Ivy Tech campus in Batesville from 7 to 9 p.m.

The first meeting will focus on the benefits of collaborative marketing, current challenges of raising pasture poultry in Indiana, and the refinement of standards to guide the consistent production and marketing of the poultry.

A successful example of collaborative marketing of pasture poultry includes “Label Rouge,” a French brand that ensures all chickens bearing their stamp were raised the same way regardless of what farm.

Creating a brand that is backed up with standards allows consumers to identify the chicken in different markets and produced by independent Hoosier farmers as a product that will be of a consistently high quality product to select, purchase and prepare for their families.

This branding initiative will serve as a support system for current and aspiring poultry farmers in Indiana — specifically (at this time) East Central and Southeast Indiana counties.

In addition, the initiative will create a label to identify the chicken that is raised using these shared production and marketing standards as a tool for farmers to sell the meat through various channels like groceries, restaurants, food hubs, CSAs and farmers’ markets.

The goal of the project and initiative is to support Hoosiers with the necessary resources and knowledge of appropriate tools and techniques to support the humane raising and marketing of pasture-raised poultry to meet the growing demand for this product from consumers.

The initiative is funded by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant that was applied for and received by the Hoosier Harvest Market — a Central Indiana farmer-owned food hub located in Greenfield.

The project is being conducted in cooperation with Historic Hoosier Hills RC&D.

While there is no cost or obligation to attend this meeting, preregistration is much appreciated to allow for adequate planning. This informal call-out is open to all with an interest in exploring the opportunities and challenges associated with the production and marketing of high quality humanely produced pastured poultry.

If you are interested in attending the first meeting or would like to learn more about this project, feel free to contact me at 317-462-1113 or by email at

The Batesville Ivy Tech campus is located at 1 Ivy Tech Drive in Batesville.

It is important to note that this branding initiative will be a grassroots farmer-driven effort for the benefit of farmers working in cooperation with Purdue Extension and Ivy Tech staff.