Thursday, February 17, 2011

See You in North Carolina!

It’s been a couple of weeks since the introductory post to this blog, we have been waiting for the launch of the Butcher’s Guild website before adding new posts here. The site went live just days ago and has lots of info about the Guild, its founders, resources, awesome merchandise and more! Just click on the “Butcher’s Guild Homepage” tab at the top of the page to head over to the site and now that we're running full steam, expect to hear from the Guild a lot more often!

Now that the Butcher’s Guild has officially launched, it’s time to discuss the first opportunity to see the Guild at work! Next month, Butcher’s Guild founders, Tia Harrison and Marissa Guggiana, and myself are heading down to North Carolina for the First Annual Carolina Meat Conference, March 25-27, 2011 at the Cabarrus Event Center in Concord, NC. The conference is to be hosted by NC Choices (, a timely initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), which works to create sustainable food systems by promoting and supporting local, pasture-raised production and educate consumers as well as those in the meat industry through networking opportunities and technical assistance. The Butcher’s Guild is excited and honored to co-sponsor the conference and will have a strong presence throughout the weekend.

North Carolina is the perfect place to host this conference. What was once considered the home of industrial pork now boasts over 500 farmers who sell their meat locally! This weekend of workshops, panel discussions and networking is the perfect way to engage more deeply in the regional sustainable foods movement. As the national movement for local, pastured meats gains a sense of cohesion, it is regional organizations like CEFS that are leading the way and guiding the action on the ground. There are several sessions of hands-on butchery workshops tailored for every level of skill and focusing on several species and techniques to help novice and professional butchers alike. Everything from innovative marketing alliances and emerging regulatory issues to improved animal handling and pasture management techniques will be covered in the sessions taking place over the course of the conference. A convergence of minds and movements, this is exactly what we’ve all been waiting for.

As co-sponsors of the conference, the Butcher’s Guild will be teaching both consumer and professional butchery classes and hosting a mixer to give folks a chance to casually talk us up and find out more about the Butcher’s Guild first-hand. The Guild will also be represented on a panel discussion taking place during the conference as I join the panel “Ethical Issues in a Growing Market: The Importance of Transparency in Sourcing & Production”, and author/co-founder Marissa Guggiana signs copies of her popular catalog of butchers and butcher's know-how, Primal Cuts. It will be a meat-packed weekend of networking, sharing ideas and experiences and learning from one another. This is the first conference of its kind and not to be missed! Head over to the site to check out all the classes and workshops and to register today!

Don’t forget to get your tickets for Butcher’s Guild Mixer at the Speedway Club!

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