LimeSprings Beef making visual progress

A close-up of the freezer area/kill floor. [Photo submitted]

A close-up of the freezer area/kill floor. [Photo submitted]

By Marcie Klomp

Progress on LimeSprings Beef has continued this winter, but it was Jan. 15 when visual strides were taken.

A huge crane was brought in to set the concrete walls for the freezer units and kill floor. President of the board Jess Stevens explained, “That area is the tallest part of the building.”

The middle section should be completed by the time the paper comes out on Jan. 30. The next step is putting up the steel portions on either end. CBS (Cresco Building Service) is doing the work. Cattle will be brought into the east end and travel through to the front, or west, part where the meat will be cut, packaged and shipped.

Stevens admits he doesn’t know a lot about the process of butchering. “When I was a kid, my dad butchered. I was mostly a watcher and gofer. I also used to watch Roy Jones slaughter up on the hill by Ryon’s and at the Puritan Locker in Cresco.”

He may not be an expert on butchering, but he does know enough to get people around him who do understand the process.

Brad Reed was hired as operations manager on Nov. 11. He brings 28 years of butchering and management experience to LimeSprings Beef. Stevens said, “Brad has been instrumental in focusing on the details of the plant layout.”

Reed also has considerable knowledge about Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. According to the FDA, HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and biological, chemical and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level.

While Reed has been working on the building itself, Consultant Michael Spinks and Stevens have been exploring sales relationships. The duo are working on direct sales, targeting a 200-mile area.

The product sold by LimeSprings Beef is unique to a large business. Stevens noted smaller lockers can tell you who or where their meat came from. The local company is going to do that on a larger scale. Consumers from Minneapolis can see by the package which area farmer raised the beef. He or she can then go to a website and learn more about that farmer and his or her style of farming.

Within a couple weeks, should be up and running. Three local farmers will be the first featured with their own web pages—Travis and Vanette Grover, Darrin and Erin Ludwig and David Eastman.

“We are still hoping to have an August opening day. Construction is on schedule,” Jesse reported. Look for more updates as work continues out at the corner.


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