Plant in a Box: A Solution for USDA-Inspected Poultry Processing?

Small Meat Processors March 26, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar

Date: February 25, 2016

Duration: one hour



Small-scale poultry producers are well aware that finding USDA-inspected processing is a big challenge.  Very few inspected poultry plants do fee-for-service processing, far fewer than for red meat, largely because it is hard to be profitable.  David Schafer, owner and founder of Featherman Equipment and NMPAN member, may have found a solution. He has built a “Plant in a Box” (PIB) that aims to be a turnkey answer for those looking to process chickens, turkeys and other poultry under USDA-inspection.  The Plant in a Box unit utilizes a recycled shipping container and comes ready to go: all the operator needs is a site pad, water, power, and a plan for effluent.  

On this webinar, we talked with David Schafer about how the PIB concept got started and their plans for the future.  Then, we heard from John Smith of Maple Wind Farm in Vermont.  Maple Wind Farm is the first farm in the country to own and operate a PIB.  Smith told us about how they got started, successes, challenges and surprises along the way, and plans for the future.  

We also connected briefly with Greg Gunthorp (of Gunthorp Farms) about how the PIB concept can be adapted for other uses. 

Speakers: John Smith from Maple Wind Farm, David Schafer from Featherman Equipment and Greg Gunthorp from Gunthorp Farms

All NMPAN webinars are open to the public and free of charge. To learn about upcoming webinars and view recorded sessions, visit the NMPAN Webinars page.


Click here to View the Webinar Recording (Adobe Connect)

Click here to View the Webinar Recording (YouTube)

Click here to Download the Webinar Presentation Slides*

*note: this file is too large to attach here.  Clicking on the link will take you to a Dropbox folder to download the slides. 




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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.