Meat Processor Academy Mastermind Program is now open for registration!

This online mastermind program is targeted to business owners, operators, and managers of federally or state-inspected meat businesses with 10 to 150 employees who wish to scale up and strengthen their businesses. 
The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN), the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP), and Kitchen Table Consultants have developed a curriculum for the Meat Processor Academy Mastermind business accelerator intensive. The Mastermind program, a continuation of the successful Meat Processing Academy short course, is a year-long, immersive experience that will help participants solve the ugliest problems in their meat business, uplevel their financial recordkeeping systems, improve profit potential, and learn from experts in the industry. Processors can apply for a limited spot at

This online mastermind program is targeted to business owners, operators, and managers of federally or state-inspected meat businesses with 10 to 150 employees who wish to scale up and strengthen their businesses. Custom exempt businesses are not eligible for this program. Businesses without visibility into their finances are also not a good fit for this class. Attendees must have completed the Meat Processor Academy course in either the live version from March 2022 or the self-paced version that is available currently.

The year-long program combines virtual classes with one-on-one mentoring to reinforce the lessons learned, creating lasting and impactful change for your business. Classes will be tailored with direct examples happening in real time. The MPA Mastermind team of instructors employ a flexible curriculum framework that allows for course instructors to adjust lesson plans and style of delivery directly to the needs of the group.

Sessions will take place from February 2023 until February 2024, on the second Tuesday of each month. Classes will last from 11:00AM-2:00PM ET via Zoom. Ideally, each member of the cohort will have a primary representative, such as a business founder, Director of Operations, or Plant Manager. They will also have the option to include key leaders from their organization who would benefit from learning specific subject matter.

Highlights of the Mastermind program will include:
  • Monthly calls featuring two expert speakers, one case study, group discussion and problem-solving, homework. See a more detailed schedule of monthly topics at
  • Each participant will be paired with a qualified business coach from Kitchen Table Consultants for up to 10 hours over the year to work on those sticky, ugly business problems unique to each participant
  • Each participant will walk away with a: cleaned up chart-of-accounts, key performance indicators (KPIs), benchmarking numbers, and an Action Plan
  • Access to similarly sized peers and all their boots-on-the-ground wisdom
  • Access to top consultants, coaches, and service providers in the industry
Mastermind applications will be accepted through January 10, 2023. As part of the applications, processors will have to agree to fully participate in the program, including monthly group discussions, working with a business coach, developing an Action Plan, and sharing your financial information within the group, spending around 3-6 hours monthly on the program. No more than 20 people will be selected to participate in this program; the small class size will provide an intimate setting where business professionals can freely share ideas and participate in discussions.

Mastermind participants will not only be learning directly from working professionals, but they'll also build relationships based on transparency and trust with the rest of the group. This support group will be instrumental in building the “big picture” for each participant over the course of the year.

“Mastermind participants build trusting relationships with like-minded peers. As a group with input on industry trends, they work through challenges and learn best practices that can be applied to their own operations,” said Elaine Lemmon of Kitchen Table Consultants. “Every Mastermind participant will benefit from the KTC facilitator who has farm and business owner experience and a benchmarking/metric process to stimulate constructive competition and conversations.”

“The biggest benefit is that the Mastermind group helps any business owner get better at what they're doing, whether in good times or bad. It helps them maximize strengths in the good times. And in the bad times, the support network helps them through it, pushing them to do the things that they wouldn't necessarily do on their own without the insight of others,” Lemmon added.

The cost for the program is $1,500. Upon successful completion of the program in March 2024, $500 of the investment will be refunded. There is a limited scholarship fund available for BIPOC or socially disadvantaged operators. Please contact Rebecca Thistlethwaite at for details on the scholarship program.

For more information or to register, visit
Participants in the Meat Processor Academy program have said:
  • “It clarified many of the issues I knew about, and didn't fully understand, but even more importantly it revealed many things I didn't know that I didn't know. It was an honest assessment of the issues and how to approach them, with no sugar-coating. Very helpful in thinking about the bigger picture.”
  • “This training offered a plethora of valuable information in such a nice little package in the ease and comfort of your own space.”
  • “Thank you for this course and selecting the different topics. After each class I was able to step out of my “box” and review our current practices & ponder discussions & topics that were presented with an open mind. I was able to re-assess the way we do some things & what we might try differently.”