BROOTEN — After moving into its new facility earlier this year, Jenniges Meat Processing has found different opportunities.
Nathan and Angela Jenniges are a husband-wife duo behind the business that opened a 12,000-square-foot facility on Jan. 17.
The new facility, on Highway 55, tripled the meat processing company’s capacity, includes a retail counter, added in-house slaughtering and is fully federally USDA inspected.
It came at a time when the business was expanding, Angela Jenniges said, adding the USDA licensure was a big driving factor.
That license allows farmers to sell their products directly from their freezer across state lines. With an increase of people wanting to sell and market their products, the couple saw a need, she explained.
“There aren’t a lot of USDA facilities in Minnesota and most of them are at full capacity and not taking new clients,” Jenniges said in a phone call with St. Cloud LIVE. “So, anybody that’s trying to start up or trying to move into that side of the market, they’ve been really restricted as far as being able to get their animals processed.”
How it works
An on-site inspector with the USDA has to check the animals when they get unloaded off a trailer prior to the slaughtering process, Nathan Jenniges explained.
The inspection continues throughout the slaughtering process and later, during the application of labels.
With the new license, the meat processing company has widened its base with customers from Brainerd and as far west as Rapid City, he said.
“There is a lot more opportunity without kind of competing against the other small meat lockers around,” Nathan added.
At the old facility, Jenniges said the company had the butchering capacity of about 580 beef and 200 hogs per year. The new facility has a capacity of 30 beef and 30 hogs a week, totaling 1,500 each per year.
The processor is slowly ramping up, with an average of 18 cattle per week, still up from the previous location’s average of 12 or 13.
The company was formerly known as J & K Meat Processing and was where Nathan was employed during high school and college before eventually pursuing other ventures, he said.
However, the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa graduate returned in 2008, when he and Angela began working for the business. By 2012, the two owned the business.
State grants provide some relief
While launching the new location, the company also got a few grants from the state’s Department of Agriculture.
One, a value added grant, assisted the business in purchasing some coolers and freezers for its retail area, Angela said.
The other, an
from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture assisted the business in covering 25% of all equipment put into the new facility, she said.
During the construction process of the new facility, the couple designed the parking lot at the business to accommodate bigger vehicles, such as semis, campers or boats.
The new facility includes meats, along with dairy staples such as milk, cereal, pizzas, produce and more.
Jenniges Meat Processing also buys beef products from Minnesota-based companies to make sausage and other meat products for its retail space.
What: Jenniges Meat Processing.
Where: 10135 State Highway 55, Brooten.
When: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Contact: 320-346-2414 or
Update: this story has been updated to correct spelling of names.
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