Ranchers interested in carving out a marketing niche for their specialty meat products will get the latest information on economics, processing, organic production and grass finishing at a conference co-hosted by the University of California Cooperative Extension March 21 to 22 in Chico.

Niche meats are growing in popularity as consumers hunger for exotic flavors, such as grass-fed beef, goat, sheep and other livestock; while others seek to support small-scale farming and conservation; and health-conscious consumers pursue more nutritious meat produced and processed using non-conventional methods. But moving into niche meat production can be complicated.

The conference will be held at the Chico State Farm, California State University, Chico. Registration for the two-day conference — which includes two lunches, dinner and proceedings — is $70 before March 13 and $80 thereafter. To register, send a check payable to “UC Regents” to Niche Meat Marketing Conference, 11477 E Ave., Auburn, CA 95603. Contact Robert Ingram at (530) 889-7385, rsingram@ucdavis.edu.