We have had several staff members join our team this summer to allow us to keep booking service processing appointments while shipping good meat out to eaters that love local meats! As we prepare to turn 10 years old as a processor in November, I am proud of the team here that has made it possible to keep the doors open and the age old art of Butchery continuing. Some of our colleagues have shut doors recently due to staffing issues so I feel especially grateful to have brought on some really good people. Next time you are in say hello to…………………
Rachael Harvey. Rachael joined our harvest team though as you may know she isn’t helping harvest carrots but rather she is doing the hard work necessary on the slaughter floor for us to keep eating meat. She graduated from Purdue University with an Animal Science Degree in 2016 and most recently has worked for the Board of Animal Health or the State of Indiana. Prior to that she worked in a similar position for a large pork facility.
She joined our team after her husband Kyle, our Farm Credit Service banker, brought her to our event in May supporting Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry. Rachael and Kyle have recently bought a country home in Montgomery County. We are proud to have Rachael on our team working to manage our Humane Handling Plan while gaining muscles daily through the physical work she does.
Austin Elmore. Austin came to us looking to round out his meat experience already valuing the trade of full animal butchery. He most recently worked for Smoking Goose in Indianapolis managing their RTE room. Prior to that he managed the retail meat department at Fresh Thyme. While he has good meat experience, he knows breaking down swinging beef and hogs is much different than cutting boxed meats or dealing with partially processed product. Learning the steps needed for 100% tracability needed to ensure orders are tracked through the processing room will also take some time. We are glad to have Austin on board. After work he enjoys his wife and home in Greencastle, IN.
Pierce Hankins. Pierce is our newest butcher apprentice. He is working to learn how to handle a knife and take meat off the bones to make ground beef and sausages. We are glad to have Pierce as he showed dedication to our country by being a service member in the Air Force. His most recent job position was doing line work which often meant unreliable hours and made it hard to fit schooling and life needs in. Pierce is newly married and living in Lafayette. He shows up everyday with a smile and starts the training process with confidence.
Sabrina Garrison. Sabrina is a recent Animal Science Grad from Purdue University. She was hired here to do Quality Assurance due to her attention to detail. Our new Quality Assurance department will help ensure orders come back correctly by auditing 1 in 10 orders completely. These are often our larger customer orders but random orders are selected through the day as well. One of our largest challenges is that of a built in expectation for perfection. Once we cut something we can’t glue it back together. We can’t substitute another cut in good faith without notifying the customer thus every service error is humbly put on the table for analysis. It means we need excellent farmer partners that believe in the good work we do and have faith we only bring forth the errors in an effort to show transparency. Boy do I sometimes wish I could take product off my shelf and sub it in for an error created but I know we are in this industry to maintain knowing the origin of product. While our country works to figure out if we should know if our meat comes from the US, we continue to stand behind making sure you know what farmer and individual animal your meat comes from. Sabrina stands behind that mission.
Once upon a time the meat industry only offered low wage jobs. It has been the subject of many books but perhaps most famously “The Jungle” by Sinclair. I am proud that most of our customers believe in the true cost of food and livable wages. In fact 3 or our 4 new employees were hired knowing they had time off needs for an upcoming cruise. While many of us only dream of vacations, it has become a standard expectation of young Americans requiring those businesses that want to stay in business to find ways to support increased wages. Our payroll has increased 100% over the last 2 years while we have only passed on a 5% increase in pricing. 10 years ago as a brand new business owner, I came dreaming of paying everyone what it takes to live without government subsidies. I can’t say we are their yet, but we are closer to representing the true cost of food. Stop in and ask why that should matter to you and say hello to some of our new staff knowing it matters to them. We love to tell you what makes us different and why supporting your local farmer is the best thing you can do for America!