$91,116
pledged of $225,000pledged of $225,000 goal
991
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 4 2014 6:04 PM UTC +00:00
Bartlett DurandBy Bartlett Durand
First created
Bartlett DurandBy Bartlett Durand
First created
$91,116
pledged of $225,000pledged of $225,000 goal
991
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 4 2014 6:04 PM UTC +00:00

About

With hours left in our campaign, Bartlett explains.

 For 7 years Black Earth Meats was a USDA Organic and Animal Welfare Approved slaughterhouse and beloved neighborhood butcher shop. Then, the unthinkable happened.

On July 18, 2014, our bank was unable to renew our note as a result of the Village of Black Earth Board’s ongoing actions against the business as a “public nuisance.” As of today, Black Earth Meats has conducted its last slaughter. By the end of July we will no longer be open for business (with the exception of cleaning out our inventory). We will instead be mired in litigation against the Village of Black Earth.

This affects hundreds of Wisconsin and Driftless Area farmers. It affects the community of Black Earth and its reputation. It affects over one hundred restaurants, retailers, and farmers market purveyors. It affects all of our employees. It affects the thousands of customers who rely on us for good meat. And it affects the development of a local food infrastructure and small scale processing. 

This is a tragedy. I am devastated that seven years of work building up a local meats infrastructure is destroyed with this unthinkable act by the Village Board. I am stunned by their actions. More personally, I am concerned for all our business partners and those who support us and them, that it will be much more difficult (and expensive) to get good meat. I am concerned that this will set back the progress made in local food systems in the area. I am concerned that the model we have formed and proven out will not have the chance to duplicate and change the way we grow and distribute food. I am concerned about the food justice issues we’ve raised, about animal welfare, and about antibiotics in agriculture. Obviously, many of these passions I can continue to push, but without a proven business showing the way, I will be just another voice in the crowd.

-excerpted from a letter written by Bartlett Durand

The exclusive t-shirt of our Kickstarter. Available at the $100 pledge level.
The exclusive t-shirt of our Kickstarter. Available at the $100 pledge level.

If you've just started following our story, what does all this mean?

Black Earth Meats needs to move forward in a way that preserves the seven years of work that we have done. Right now, the centerpiece of our proven business model has been shattered and we need you to help us rebuild.

If Black Earth Meats does not get funded, then it will cease to exist. Black Earth Meats will not be able to buy well-raised heritage breed animals from small farmers. The bank will take all the equipment you see in the video and auction it off. Without our equipment, Black Earth Meats will not be able to provide any organically raised and humanely processed meats to the Conscious Carnivore butcher shop in Madison, WI.  It will force us into cutting the jobs of our 7 remaining employees.  We need our Wisconsin community and ultimately, a much larger community to understand that Black Earth Meats is a crucial part of the circle that provides people with good food from good farmers.  

This project really boils down to a simple question: Will you help us buy our own equipment back from the bank so that Black Earth Meats can preserve the work we've done and continue to be the driving force of a local meats ecosystem?

Designed by Mike Koppa, this bumper sticker will tell the world that you support local and sustainable food.
Designed by Mike Koppa, this bumper sticker will tell the world that you support local and sustainable food.
 

$225,000 is a really big goal. 

Yes, it is. Our goal is big because the equipment we need to do our work is expensive. At the low end there are hooks and trolleys. One pair costs us $25 dollars, but we need all 300 sets. That quickly adds up to $7,500.00. On the high end of things, the rails, which attach to the ceiling and hold the chilling carcasses, easily cost $120,000. In between, we need various saws, stuffers and vacuum sealers to continue making the products our customers love. This is the kind of equipment that we cannot do without, so we thank you for helping us financially and sharing our story with people that support local and sustainable food businesses.

Nick Johnson of The Stamm House will either cook for you, or help you prepare a tasting menu for friends.
Nick Johnson of The Stamm House will either cook for you, or help you prepare a tasting menu for friends.
            
 
Autographed guides to masterful meat techniques, courtesy of our friend Chef Adam Danforth. $100 pledge.
Autographed guides to masterful meat techniques, courtesy of our friend Chef Adam Danforth. $100 pledge.
Send a Farm-to-Vase big bouquet to someone special and receive our exclusive t-shirt at the $180 pledge level.
Send a Farm-to-Vase big bouquet to someone special and receive our exclusive t-shirt at the $180 pledge level.
             
Sausage? Shirt? Sausage? Shirt? Get both with a $275 pledge.
Sausage? Shirt? Sausage? Shirt? Get both with a $275 pledge.
Pick your poster with a $75 pledge! Lamb, Beef, Chicken or Pork.
Pick your poster with a $75 pledge! Lamb, Beef, Chicken or Pork.
A $25 pledge makes these postcards all yours AND you'll have saved one set of hooks & trollies. Thank you!
A $25 pledge makes these postcards all yours AND you'll have saved one set of hooks & trollies. Thank you!
With a $300 pledge, enjoy a farm-to-table style meal delivery service in the Madison area. See the 608CSK blog for menus.
With a $300 pledge, enjoy a farm-to-table style meal delivery service in the Madison area. See the 608CSK blog for menus.
                
With a minimum pledge of $100, you can add-on select additional rewards. For further instructions, see our Update #4
With a minimum pledge of $100, you can add-on select additional rewards. For further instructions, see our Update #4

Risks and challenges

We built the company once and have created a proven and successful business model for well-raised meat made available to a local community through its neighborhood butcher shop. The Black Earth Meats business model can now act as an example for other communities who wish to create their own local meats ecosystem. In the short term, we need your financial support to carry our equipment to our new location so we can restart our operations.

However, we still have some of the best small-scale livestock farmers in Wisconsin raising amazing animals for us. We have private customers, retail outlets and restaurants all eager to buy our products and some of the most skilled butchers practicing the craft. We are in a position to lead by example, that well-raised meat can, and will, change the way we eat.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    One dollar does indeed make a big difference! Thank you for keeping this good thing going. You have our sincerest thanks.

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    Get recognized! Both the Black Earth Meats and The Conscious Carnivore websites will add your name to their list of loyal supporters.

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    Ian's Pizza in Madison, WI, will set you up with a nice big slice. You make the pledge, they make the pizza. Simple.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Receive a personalized thank you card from Bartlett Durand and his crew in appreciation for your devotion to the mission of Black Earth Meats.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Spread the message of a thriving local food system that you have helped create with a set of four postcards designed especially for The Conscious Carnivore.

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    Raise a glass to Black Earth Meats 2.0 with your own commemorative, 16 oz. pub glass at Capital Brewery in Middleton, WI.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Hurray for Wisconsin's Right to Farm Act! By official ruling of the Honorable Judge William Hanrahan, Black Earth Meats is not considered a "public nuisance". Get the insider scoop by receiving a personal copy of the entertaining, full-length court document. Signed by our favorite Judge and Bartlett Durand.

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    Our neighbors, Great Harvest Bread Co. in Madison, WI, is baking up loaves of their delicious Honey Wheat bread to help us out.

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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Enjoy a "sustain-a-burger" and a brew at the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company in Madison, WI. You're the reason that locally-sourced, humanely-handled burgers are here to stay. Cheers!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Let everyone know, that YOU saved Black Earth Meats with this bumper sticker especially designed by Mike Koppa, organizer of the Viroqua Creative Workshop.

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    Handmade ceramic coffee cups made by J.D. Woulfe Pottery, featuring the Black Earth Meats logo and accompanied by Collectivo Coffee.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    It's the Black Earth Meats Spice Set. 8 unique seasoning blends for Beef, Pork, Lamb and Chicken developed by our own master butcher and BBQ expert, Joe Parajecki.

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    It's The Big Book of Bacon: Savory Flirtations, Dalliances, and Indulgences with the Underbelly of the Pig, autographed, of course by our friend, noted author, Jennifer L.S. Pearsall

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Get a fantastic poster celebrating your support of Black Earth Meats and the Conscious Carnivore. Choose from Chicken, Lamb, Pork or Beef designs. Oh, and would you like Bartlett to sign it for you? Just ask. You're awesome and we know it.

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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    Wanna get to work? Spend a day shadowing Chef Joe and his skilled team of craft butchers to see just how much work they put into sustaining a high-quality, local food system. Don't be surprised if you learn a thing or two along the way. Your day with Joe will take place in Madison, WI.

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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    Created by Chef Ken Woulfe, it's a BBQ kit featuring three of his speciality BBQ sauces accompanied by three BBQ rubs.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    It's the exclusive FREE BLACK EARTH t-shirt and the only place you can get it is right here, right now.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    It's OFFAL TASTY and it can be all yours! Andrew Zimmern, star of Bizarre Foods America uncovered the delights of this ground mixture of lean beef, kidneys, tongue and heart. Here's your opportunity to be adventurous and supportive at the exact same time.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Is BBQ your thing? Enjoy 2 racks of our amazing Berkshire spare ribs along with a bottle of Head's Red BBQ sauce and our very own Black Earth Meat's Memphis Rib Rub. We'll include instructions to cook them to perfection and ship them anywhere in the continental U.S.A.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Get autographed copies of each of Adam Danforth's 2 latest books - Comprehensive guides to the humane slaughter and butcher of Beef, Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat and Pork. And we'll include an exclusive piece of cutlery to get you started.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Makin' Bacon at the Conscious Carnivore in Madison! In this class you'll learn to cure, flavor and smoke your own full pork belly and take it home with you. Master Butcher Dave Gathy teaches this popular class.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    It's the crock pot class taught by Chef David Gobeli of the Conscious Carnivore in Madison, WI. Whether you like lamb, beef, pork or chicken we'll cover the basics and touch on advanced crock pot and braising techniques. Enjoy some braised delights and beverages during the class.

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    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    Nicolette Hahn Niman is a livestock rancher, environmental lawyer and author of The Righteous Porkchop. Make a hardcover, autographed edition all yours.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Participate in a sausage-making class with Jerry Traczyk, formerly of Underground Meats and currently of Bavarian Sausage, both in Madison, WI. You'll make fresh sausage and learn about cured. The class will be held in February 2015 at the Conscious Carnivore in Madison, WI.

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    You're a local Hero! Farm to Vase in Madison, WI, is making it possible for you to send locally grown flowers to your favorite Dane County resident. They get a beautiful arrangement and you get an exclusive Free Black Earth t-shirt sent to you. Delivery of flowers is only available in Dane County, Wisconsin - shirts ship anywhere!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    It's a Conscious Carnivore's Delight - a 3 lb. box of superior sausages delivered straight to your door from our very grateful hearts.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Chef Luke of the Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, WI, always makes it a meal to remember. His menu is locally sourced, but widely and highly regarded. It's farm-to-table fantastic! In celebration of local and sustainable dining all over the Driftless Region, enjoy dinner for two in downtown Viroqua.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Limited print of Phil Hands's editorial cartoon about the closing of Black Earth Meats - it's the one in the video! It's signed by both the artist and Bartlett Durand. Official campaign t-shirt included.

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    Organic vegetable farmer Toril Fisher contributed this original painting of a Driftless landscape. The artwork is acrylic on galvanized steel and measures 22x14 inches.

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Party Pack! Get the Black Earth Meats 3 lb. sausage box AND one of our exclusive t-shirts.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Are you a budding butcher? Sharpen your skills with a professional chef's cutlery set, provided by Wisconsin Cutlery and Kitchen Supply. Sharp!

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Madison area 608 CSK (Community Supported Kitchen) is offering farm-to-table meal delivery service. You will get 2 adult meals, delivered for 4 consecutive Tuesdays - that's a total of 8 delicious meals prepared by Ben and Kate. See http://www.608csk.com/ for more details.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    You and a friend get a behind-the-scenes tour of the original Black Earth Meats with a full explanation of the humane handling systems and philosophy behind the company. Then tour the new facility with none other than Bartlett Durand as your personal guide. Includes 2 t-shirts.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Get fancy! This cutlery kit has beautiful Rosewood handles, a ceramic hone, Victorinox Swiss serrated peeler, and includes with a 4 piece Messermeister Avanta steak set.

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    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    Chef Nick Johnson of The Stamm House will guide you and a friend in preparing a stellar 6-course tasting menu. Invite 4 more friends to enjoy your days work which will be served at the Chef's Table. Hosting a dinner party has never been easier. This will happen in March or April 2015 in Middleton, WI.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Classy! Chef Molly of Madison Sourdough will treat you and up to 9 friends to an exclusive hands on class where you will make both sweet and savory pies in the kitchen of Madison Sourdough. Make, bake and take 'em home with you. Supporting the local food movement has never tasted so good.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    It's a BBQ for ten, cooked up by none other than the exceptional Joe Parajecki of Black Earth Meats. On the menu - Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Smoked Baked Beans, Corn on the Cob and Coleslaw. Joe competes on the professional BBQ circuit and will travel to the Madison, Milwaukee and Northern Illinois area this coming summer to deliver the goods. Delish!

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    Pledge US$ 1,200 or more About US$ 1,200

    Madison area super-chef Shinji Muramoto of Restaurant Muramoto, Sushi Muramoto and the new 43 North is bringing it to the table for Black Earth Meats in a big way. He will prepare and serve a 5 course meal, using Black Earth Meats products in each course for you and up to 7 friends. This epic dining opportunity will take place in your Madison area home or at 43 North on a weekday evening.

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    Pledge US$ 1,200 or more About US$ 1,200

    Our friend, Chef Nick Johnson of the soon to be re-opened Stamm House in Middleton, WI, will prepare dinner for up to ten people at the exclusive Stamm House Chef's Table (February or March 2015) or your Madison area home. Choose a date with Chef Nick Johnson.

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    Pledge US$ 1,600 or more About US$ 1,600

    Chef Joe Parajecki is offering a Black Earth Meats Steak Dinner for 10 in the Madison, Milwaukee, or Northern Illinois area. The menu includes Steak with all the fixings, Salad, a full Baked potato bar and "I Saved Black Earth Meats" bumper stickers for the whole party. Yes, please!

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    Not in Wisconsin? The Black Earth Meats BBQ for 10 people will come to you! On the menu - Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Smoked Baked Beans, Corn on the Cob and Coleslaw. Either Joe Parajecki or Bartlett Durand will travel, prepare the BBQ and serve it up anywhere in the lower 48 states. Includes bumper stickers for the whole group. Delish!

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    Pledge US$ 2,600 or more About US$ 2,600

    Not in Wisconsin? The Black Earth Meats Steak DInner for 10 people will come to you! The menu includes Steak with all the fixings, Salad, a full Baked potato bar and "I Saved Black Earth Meats" bumper stickers for the whole party. Either Joe Parajecki or Bartlett Durand will travel, prepare the steak dinner and serve it up anywhere in the lower 48 states. Yes, please!

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    You've really done it this time! You'll be a part of the Black Earth Meats family till the end of time. Your name will be engraved on one of our pieces of stainless steel processing equipment as both a thank you and a reminder that our new facility really wouldn't be the same without you. Exclusive campaign t-shirt and I Saved Black Earth Meats bumper sticker included!

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Funding period

- (45 days)