About Us

Tar River Poultry Initiative is a group of four women farmers and homesteaders in Franklin County, North Carolina, that joined together as the Tar River Poultry Initiative, LLC in an effort to bring a mobile poultry processing unit to Franklin and surrounding counties.

Tar River Poultry Initiative – or, TRiP for short.

The mobile poultry processing unit targets local small farm poultry producers. It consists of a bumper-pull trailer set up with key equipment needed to process up to 200 chickens per day.

Mobile Poultry Processing Unit = MPPU

In the fall of 2016, a local Women in Agriculture group noticed we were facing similar challenges in regards to poultry processing:

1.  We didn't process enough poultry per year to justify the overhead cost of purchasing our own equipment.

2.  We were using homemade or second-hand makeshift equipment to slaughter and butcher poultry which was negatively affecting our efficiency and food safety efforts.

Since we are passionate about sustainability and providing humanely processed, safe, and wholesome fresh poultry for our friends and family, we began working together on a grant application to make our farms more productive and profitable. Needless to say, we were very excited when we were selected as an Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant recipient for 2017! This grant was awarded by RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA) with funds provided by the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. RAFI assists entrepreneurial and innovative farmers and collaborative groups in developing new sources of agriculture income. Additionally, TRiP was selected as the 2017 Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Grant recipient. This Fund supports small farms to aid their development and long-term sustainability.


A MPPU allows farmers or homesteaders to process their own birds on their own property with their own labor. By using a MPPU, a small poultry producer will save time and money spent traveling to an inspected processing facility hundreds of miles from their farm. The farmer will also be able to provide a better product by personally overseeing the humane handling, slaughter and packaging of their own birds. The MPPU may also open up new markets for our small farmers with the potential to sell their product directly to institutions and restaurants in accordance with state and federal laws.

Founding members - (left to right) Analee Thornburg, Patricia Hill, Tay Brown, and Julie Gupton (General Manager)

If you are interested in becoming a part of the Tar River Poultry Initiative, LLC, we would love to hear from you! Please contact us by emailing TarRiverPoultry@gmail.com

You can also find us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TarRiverPoultry

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hearing about your small farm and how we can help you with your poultry processing needs


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