Kendra has worked here for eleven years, before Erick and Jessica bought it, when it was a not-for-sale custom processing plant. At that time, if a customer wanted to buy beef or pork they would receive industry meat without a clue about where the meat came from or how the animal was raised. Now, Kendra says that This Old Farm can tell you exactly where each piece of meat comes from because we know our farmers. Their names appear on the labels that she has created. Contrast this to the fast food business where you might be eating a sandwich with meat from 100 different animals! At the grocery store, you don’t know where your meat comes from either, because in 2015 the House of Representatives voted to repeal country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef, pork, and chicken.
When she first started working here she stayed because she liked the people and it was close to home, but when the facility burned to the ground in 2009, she thought it was gone forever and it was a wake-up call! She realized that she loved working here and so she worked hard to help the company recover, which was amazingly rebuilt and back in business in only 6 months after the fire! Since that time Kendra has taken on more responsibility and became Director of Processing Operations where she oversees the scheduling of animals, verifies all paperwork and cutting instructions, schedules employees and works on the processing floor whenever needed. She explains that going from a state inspected facility to a USDA inspected facility was night and day. Every step of the way is now inspected for physical, chemical and biological contaminants, so customers can be sure of the high quality standard of our meats. We can take in more animals and offer more options, raised more naturally that can be shipped anywhere in the United States. Kendra knows that buying locally raised meat and value-added food is not a fad, but is here to stay.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service released a report showing that farmers should develop long-term relationships with local processing facilities in order to grow what the consumers want: good food that is healthy, green, fair, and affordable. Kendra is confident about the value of locally processed meat, because 1) you know the farmer and how animals were raised 2) natural ingredients and seasonings are used, without chemicals and additives that cause allergies 3) you can taste the difference 4) products don’t shrink after you cook them because they are not injected with water and additives and 5) no artificial flavors or coloring are added to the meat.
If you have any questions about any aspect of the meat processing business give us a call and ask for Kendra, because her experience speaks volumes!