Meat + Poultry - June 2016 - (Page 94)

PROCESSOR PROFILE Embracing meat snacking Thrushwood Farms' new strategy focuses solely on jerky and meat snacks ham, turkey and bacon, all while doing a brisk business in jerky products and meat snacks. Thrushwood has become a valued co-packer for many customers, including many convenience store chains whose operators want to sell jerky and meat snacks under their own banner.  "We take a shotgun approach," Doug says of the growing business, which now employs 32 people. But that approach is becoming more rifle-like. "We're really diverse, but snack food is our focus. We do everything from small runs to large runs including some unique experimentation with trail mixes, groundand-formed jerky with flavor infusions and inclusions in the products." BY J O E L C R E WS | j c r e w s @ s o s l a n d.c o m S ince its founding in 1978, Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats has evolved with the times and is thriving as a family owned business in Galesburg, Illinois. Led now by the second generation of the Hankes family, Doug and his brother Jeff are transitioning the company in a new direction, focusing on jerky products and meat snacks. It's a significant change for the evolving company, which was founded by Doug and Jeff's father, Jim and their two uncles. Back then, the company operated as "We do everything from small runs to large runs an integrated, farm-to-table concept. including some unique "Their whole goal was raise the pigs in Fairbury," experimentation with trail mixes, ground-and- which is about 100 miles east of the plant, drive them formed jerky with flavor over to Galesburg, process infusions and inclusions the pork and sell the pork." However, Doug Hankes adds, in the products." "They were just kind of ahead - DOUG HANKES of their time because the concept just never really worked," and the pig production side of the business was later liquidated. Jim and his wife, Kae, ultimately bought out the two uncles and the business grew as a custom slaughtering and processing plant. The company went on to expand its operation, selling premium beef and pork cuts in its retail store and online in addition to offering specialty items including smoked 94 MEAT+ POULTRY | 06.16 | www.meatpoultry.com Realizing the undeniable growth in demand for meat snack and jerky production, Thrushwood is about one month into shifting all of its operations to process just these products. Since May 1, the company stopped offering custom processing and has turned its focus solely on the meat snack segment. Doug says the decision to become dedicated to the snacking segment was based on "where I felt we could be the most profitable and have the most impact for our customers," which has been meat snacks and premium jerky. FAMILY TRADITION Jim and Kae are still very much involved in the business and report to work at the facility every day. The company's new strategy was undertaken by the family with careful consideration and input from everyone, including Doug's parents. He jokes that the two http://www.meatpoultry.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat + Poultry - June 2016

Meat + Poultry - June 2016
CONTENTS
COMMENTARY - The wage wedge
BUSINESS NOTES - TYSON POSTS RECORD Q2 PERFORMANCE
HORMEL RAISES GUIDANCE ON Q2 PERFORMANCE, ACQUIRES JUSTIN’S
JBS SWINGS TO Q1 LOSS
EPIC PROVISIONS LAUNCHES NEW LINE OF MEAT BAR
CAGE-FREE TO RULE AT DAIRY QUEEN
OLYMEL TO EXPAND PRIMARY POULTRY PLANT
CARGILL TO STAY IN WICHITA
WASHINGTON - Food safety action
BARBECUE REPORT - Barbecue friends
FOODSERVICE - Smokin' success
EDUCATION - TEXAS BARBECUE at the head of the class
RESTAURANT REPORT - THE BBQ TRAVELER
PACKAGING SOLUTIONS - 'Bone' appetit
INGREDIENT ISSUES - Flavor infusion
SMOKY FLAVOR TOPS THE CHARTS
SMALL BUSINESS MATTERS - Meat snack marvel
SMALL BUSINESS LEADER - Checking in with the chick
COVER STORY - Preferential processsing
MARKET REPORT - Traditional innovation
FOOD SAFETY - Packer perspective
PROCESSOR PROFILE - Embracing meat snacking
CONVENTION PREVIEW - AAMPed up in Omaha
FROM THE CORRAL - Cage-free caveats
SHOWCASE
NAMES IN THE NEWS
CLASSIFIEDS
ADVERTISERS
THE INSIDER

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