This week, I thought I’d take you on a fun photo journey, introducing you to a few faces in our tribe that make your food.
Before we dive in, I’ll give you a little history on how we ever got into processing in the first place. None of us in the family were ‘born’ with any meat craft skill. Our extent of butchery knowledge was cutting up some venison in the garage after a successful Thanksgiving week of deer hunting around the ranch with friends and family as well as helping skin and dress our bison on the slaughter floor after our weekly field harvest back in the early days of harvesting a few bison per year. We raised the bison and cared deeply about how they were harvested. Being immersed into the processing side with the bison, we began to understand the commonly practiced meat processing techniques and quickly recognized that there was a casim that existed between ours and our customer’s desires versus what had become common practice in the meat processing world. There were no small processors locally that could be flexible with our field harvest method and no processors that were willing to process the meat as clean and chemical-free as we desired. At that point, we realized we had better get to learnin’.
We began making plans of building our own processing facility on the home ranch but caught wind of a local family processor that was slowly succumbing to the winds of change. The facility was older but met our needs nicely and the crew working the facility was also perfectly antiquated or “well-seasoned”. We bought that little old processing facility on Sept. 1, 2005, made some immediate modifications, and the old girl was back humming again like old times. That acquisition of Mincoff’s Meat Market gifted us nearly 200 years of Bohemian meat cutting heritage. Skilled butchery is a craft, equivalent to brewing craft beer or fine wine. Ample time is crucial to understanding cuts, honing recipes, and sourcing clean, quality seasoning ingredients.
There is an element of pride in what we do.
We’re still learning, as we always should be, but we can confidently say we’re a cut above, and that’s saying something coming from the great state of cheese and meat, home of the Green Bay Packers. ← There’s enough meat cutter pride in our part of the country to name Wisconsin's professional football team after a local meat packing company; the ACME Packers. :)