2Bits: New custom meat processing plant coming to Mid-Missouri
Believe in yourself, go after your dreams,
and don’t let anyone put you in a box.
No one puts Nancy Schrock, owner of Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards, in a box.
Since her purchase of the Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards, Mexico, MO, at an auction in 2005, Nancy has been working hard and living her dream! In 2019, that dream will include a custom meat processing and packaging plant she’s calling Midwest Packing.
Custom meat processing plants that can handle a variety of livestock types in one location are few and far between. This new plant will be a welcome addition. Demolition of a portion of her Mexico, MO, livestock auction facility for the new meat processing plant began earlier this month.
Nancy is an idea person, willing to do what it takes to fulfill her dreams. You can see the passion, intent, and perseverance in her eyes as she shares the vision for her meat processing plant.
First, she will handle livestock she knows, offering wholesale and retail processing of chickens, sheep, goats, beef, and hogs. Later, she’ll add processing of rabbits and game birds.
Initially, the plant will be state certified, later USDA. Humanely-handled, organic and Halal processing requirements and certifications will be considered and added if appropriate.
Also, on the horizon are milk processing and cheese making services. She’s got the land, space, and a willingness and determination to move forward, taking one step at a time, methodically and focused—learning, planning, demolishing and constructing.
Eight years ago, I started selling my Katahdin Hair Sheep market lambs at the Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards and met Nancy.
Thursdays are auction days. Prior to a late summer or early fall auction date that I choose to sell my lambs at, we exchange emails about my lambs and I send her photos for buyers to review. On sale day, I drop off my lambs early in the morning, and later that same day, I stop by to pick up my livestock sale check, always looking for Nancy to shout out a quick, “thank you” to her.
This past week, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Nancy away from the hectic pace of auction day about her stockyard and future meat processing plant. Poised and polite, her quiet confidence reminded me why I feel comfortable bringing my market lambs to her auction.
Born in New Holland, PA, she kindly says she was raised as a son, working with steers being fattened for market and training driving horses.
Horses are her first passion! Her first purchase of a livestock auction facility was in Montgomery City, MO, in 2003. She purchased the livestock auction facility there to hold horse sales twice a month.
When the livestock auction facility in Mexico went on sale, she used all of her resources to buy it. Livestock auctions in Mexico were held every Thursday for horses, sheep, and goats. Nancy “hit the road running.” She lived from Thursday to Thursday, focusing entirely on what it took to bring in the right balance of sellers and buyers, and getting the facility ready for the next auction day.
When the horse market in Missouri tanked, it set Nancy back hard. However, she looks back on that challenging time, and knows that set back helped her move forward. She worked to increase her sheep and goat sales, also adding cattle, hogs, chickens, rabbits, and other animals including donkeys.
A trusted relationship with buyers and sellers is Nancy’s “comeback sauce.” It’s her brand!
Fairness to both buyers and sellers is the culture at Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards. It’s earned her the trust of in-state and out-state buyers, as well as a wide variety of farmers and other sellers.
Buyers trust Nancy’s information about livestock being available at upcoming auction dates. Sellers trust Nancy to handle their livestock with care and sell them for a fair and reasonable price.
Operating Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards is a family affair.
Nancy’s daughter, Amanda, and Amanda’s husband, Mervin, and two sons, Isaac and Rubin, help with the daily operations.
Nancy’s son Josh and his three children, Lucas, Jacob, and Charlotte help on auction day and on other occasions. Josh helps in the office on auction day, paying sellers and receiving payment from buyers. They drive in from Versailles, MO, to help.
Josh works for the construction company that’s building her future meat processing plant.
As we ended our conversation, I asked Nancy one last question. “They say hind sight is 20/20. If you could, what would you have done differently with this business.”
Nancy said, “Nothing really. I just did what it took. And, I want to keep on learning and loving the process.”
Written by Kim Harrison, CEO 2BuyAg