A three part webinar series

Looking to investigate what it would take to start your own meat business?

Wanting to feel more empowered in your identity as a business owner and entrepreneur? Wondering about the nuanced difference between state and USDA meat processing regulations?This three-part webinar series will focus on a few strategic business training concepts that will help bolster you and steer you towards skills you need for long-term operational success and viability. Presented by Olivia Tincani, together with her suite of colleague thought practitioners, this series can be taken as a whole or each course individually. Courses are aimed at existing or emerging entrepreneurs. Read individual workshop descriptions below. Choose to sign up for one or all sessions. Once registered, you will receive the Zoom link.

Contact Taylor Muglia with any questions:

Leadership & Management Skills for Values-Driven Farm Businesses

March 21  |  9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. MT

Educators: Chance Weston, Thunder Valley Community Development CorporationOlivia Tincani, Olivia Tincani & Co

This course will delve into the question of what really makes you an entrepreneur, and how we can all recognize ourselves as leaders even if you are a “one-person-show” or a budding business, or even just a new business idea. We will explore the nuances of ethical business operations with quadruple bottom line priorities (profit – planet – people – purpose), explore leadership through a distinctly Indigenous lens and using the framework of a Lakota sense of purpose, learn the theories of (non-Indigenous) Servant Leadership methods, cover general leadership and team-building tactics, and discuss how to cultivate an environment of reciprocity in your operations. We will introduce homework exercises to create and refine business core values that express the soul of the operation and drive your day-to-day decisions large and small. This course will be full of opportunities for engagement, small group breakout sessions, storytelling, and journaling/silent exercises.

Processing Primer for the Producer

April 24  |  9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. MT

Educators: David Zarling, NMPAN/Northwoods Group, Olivia Tincani, Olivia Tincani & Co

The processor relationship is perhaps the most fundamental one in the pathway from successful ranch, animal and range management to meat product in the hand of happy and healthy meat customers. In this foundational, bare bones course we cover all the basics and some nuances of the middle supply chain elements of a meat business: everything that happens from the mome​nt of harvest until it leaves your hands as sellable product. ​ Topics will include the differences between USDA, state and custom exempt regulations; where to process based on where you’d like to sell; cut sheets and processing decisions; soft skills necessary for a successful processor relationship; harvest timing and tracking.

Strategies for Starting a Meat Business: What To Think About From the Beginning

May 9  |  9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. MT

Educators: Olivia Tincani, Olivia Tincani & Co, Micha Ide (Bright Ide Acres), Dede Bois (Root Down Farm), Katie Pencke (Alluvial Farms), and Meagan Lannan (Barney Creek Livestock)

Should you TRULY get into the meat business? Is the return actually better on your animals? Why on earth would you go to the trouble to hustle all that meat, and will it be worth it? This roundtable discussion of diverse, experienced producer panelists will answer questions about what you need to be considering from the outset of your endeavor. We will encourage you to consider the aspects of farming, ranching and meat business that are beyond just the basics of where to find land money, how to understand your cut sheet, where to sell, and how to attract customers (although we will touch on those too!). We will discuss how direct meat sales can offer even small operations a successful approach to maximizing your investment in your land, animals, and livelihood by recognizing the return each animal has to offer. But we will also get into the nitty gritty of family life, personal health and wellness, and the holistic business understanding it takes to ranch AND sell meat. 

Office Hours (Tuesday May 14, 10-11:30am MT – OR – Tuesday May 21 9-10:30am MT): As a followup to the workshop, join us for 90 minutes of question asking and peer learning. Absorb the elements of the workshop, reflect, and come back to an intimate table for continued conversation and diving deeper. Note that this session will be powered by your questions and thoughts, and educators will not be presenting, so come prepared with your thoughts! Spots for 5 farmers, filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Directions to sign up will be communicated at the end of the webinar and 1 time slot of the 2 above will be chosen based on participants’ availability.


Olivia Tincani, Olivia Tincani & Co

Olivia Tincani is a food and agriculture business educator and consultant and with over 20 years of experience in the field. Olivia Tincani & Co. provides business, financial and strategic planning and training for small-scale independent food and farm businesses and the institutions that service them. She has specific expertise in entrepreneurial empowerment for farmers and ranchers, program and curriculum design, whole animal supply chains, livestock businesses, and community building. An ambitious spirit infuses her teaching and consulting, inspired by her personal entrepreneurial endeavors. She is currently designing and executing farm business training programming for the The Conservation Fund’s Working Farms Fund, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Fibershed, Chicago Botanic Garden and the Grazing School of the West. Past projects include work with venerated organizations such as Glynwood, Ecotrust, and Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance alongside independent coaching for a roster of small and mid-scale sustainable farms. She served as a Business & Communications Strategist for 8 years for Rancho Llano Seco in Chico, CA. She has deep history in food business operations as the co-founder of landmark joint restaurant/farm enterprises Farm 255 and Farm Burger in the rural southeast, and food service design and management company Just Fare in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is on the Advisory Board of the National Farm Viability Conference and was a founding Board member of Kitchen Table Advisors. Olivia splits time between Sonoma County (CA) and her friend’s organic rice farm in Maremma, (Italy), with her hands in the dirt and her skin in the game.

Chance Weston, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation

Chance Weston is currently the Food Sovereignty Director for Thunder Valley CDC. He has years of extensive experience in working for federal agencies like the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service. Most recently working for the BIA in lease contract compliance. Chance was selected as Vice-Chairman to the Oglala Sioux Tribe Renewable Energy Development Authority and as an Oglala Sioux Tribe Utilities Commissioner both of which oversaw the creation, development and implementation of regenerative and sustainable wind energy projects like the Oceti Sakowin Power Authority. He also has many years of experience in small business administration and development in sustainable environmental service enterprises within his region and has been involved in government contracting on various scales. Within small business creation, Chance also has experience in Hubzone and 8(a) business creation. His 10 years of regenerative agriculture experience in regenerative farming and ranching with local producers has created new models to be utilized within federal compliance for farm and range leases while showcasing the origination of regenerative principles within Lakota/Indigenous frameworks and communities. He completed intensive training in agroecology to measure all environmental impact through the Integrity Soils CREATE Program to enhance his Lakota Land Systems Thinking.

David Zarling, NMPAN/Northwoods Group

David Zarling is a career butcher with extensive boots-on-the-ground experience in humane handling and slaughter, whole animal fabrication and value-added processing, both as an operator and plant manager. He specializes in food safety and operations process management, plant management and team training, as well as new product development.Currently, he manages the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network at Oregon State University, providing direct technical assistance to meat processors around the country, as well as providing onsite team process training and plant management coaching services to processing plants. His management philosophy is that ‘our people are our greatest assets’ and that leadership is a practice of service, allowing our technical operators to do their best work.

With funding from: