It’s no wonder that Tina Prevatte became a small business owner. The UNC graduate and daughter of two business owners from Lumberton, Tina speaks with pride about the role that local businesses play in a community.
“You see the hard work they do as having an impact,” Prevatte says. “They are providing something that the community otherwise wouldn’t have.”
Prevatte graduated from Carolina in 2009 with master’s degrees in business administration and city and regional planning. As a student, she studied barriers to success for small meat packers. As part of her research, Prevatte surveyed 20 small meat packers and conducted extensive interviews with some of them. She also interviewed stakeholders who regularly interact with North Carolina’s small meat packers and she researched the industry.
Her findings showed that bringing meat packers together into a marketing and sales cooperative would help them better get their product to market.
While at Carolina, Prevatte worked with Jennifer Curtis of NC Choices, which promotes local, niche and pasture-based meat supply chains, to develop a business plan that became their company, Farmhand Foods. The company sources pasture-based livestock from producers who raise their animals humanely, works with meat packers to create product and then distributes it to restaurants, retailers and consumers.
Prevatte says starting Farmhand Foods was an exciting way to use the skills she gained at Carolina. Working in North Carolina was also important to Prevatte, who won a 2012 Impact Award, which recognizes graduate students whose work has had a direct impact on North Carolina.
After living in California for some time, Prevatte knew she wanted to return to North Carolina when she applied to graduate school and found Carolina to be a perfect fit.
“It was going to allow me to build my networks with people who shared my commitment to North Carolina,” Prevatte says.
Published November 29, 2012.