Finally, a USDA-inspected processing plant close to home.
One of the country's largest cattle production areas sits in the heart of the western plains: The Nebraska Panhandle. It is here that Pumpkin Creek Meat Company will build the only USDA-inspected processing plant of this scale within a 130-mile radius. The city approved the build, engineering documents are being drafted, and the first year's appointments are being booked right now.
Pumpkin Creek Meat Co.
The lot at 2605 7th St. Gering, NE, was once home to Packerland Packing. After remaining vacant for years, the buildings were finally removed, and the lot was cleared. Pumpkin Creek Meat Company has received a conditional use permit to, once again, build a USDA-inspected facility on the lot and return beef processing and retail back to Gering, Nebraska. The plant will process around 40 head a day once fully staffed (approximately 30 employees). PCMC will offer custom-cut for producers retailing their beef and contract-kill for boxed beef wholesale. While no rendering will be done onsite, organ dehydration is planned for phase 2, opening up retail opportunities for the dog treat and chew market. Tallow and hide production are both on the three-year road map. Phase 1 currently includes a retail area for customers to purchase beef directly from the facility.
Meet the Brothers
"All I wanted to do was check my cows." Life-time rancher and serial innovator Dean had no intention of doing anything other than innovating the family ranch to produce more with fewer inputs. After years of no-till farming and spring/summer calving, he challenged the status quo even more. Equipped with a microscope and soil probe, Dean adopted regenerative ag practices to improve the quality of his cows, starting with the soil. That, combined with a longer lifespan, he was able to produce beef with a flavor that was shockingly rich. "The old system is dead. It isn't working for the producers anymore." Dean is not a fan of conventional anything, especially the current economic system ag producers have been forced to accept. So, he has taken himself off the cow-feeding duty and is moving forward to help free other producers and consumers from the bottlenecked, antiquated food chain system.
Marketing, Sales, and Entrepreneurship are all passions of Jared's. "I was my brother's worst nightmare when trying to work cows. That's why I left the ranch as soon as possible for a career in Sales and Marketing." Jared spent the last decade selling and coaching others to sell online marketing tools. After forming Pumpkin Creek Ranch with brother Dean, he and his wife, Kendra, quickly realized the biggest obstacle in selling beef was not the marketing or competition, it was the processing bottleneck that threatened their supply. "Ranches should be marketing and selling their own brand, but having few options for inspected processing, they are left with taking a loss on halves and quarters." As a sales and marketing professional, Jared is passionate about helping ranchers set their price, not take the price that's set for them.
Timeline of Events
A Crazy Idea Gets Momentum
Dean and Jared begin forming a team to investigate the feasibility of an inspected facility in western NE.
City Council Approved
The last hurdle was cleared by the Gering City Council, granting PCMC a Conditional Use Permit for the vacant lot.
Begin Engineering and Design
PRC and IST will begin designing the facility while the town finalizes the release of TIF funds.
Spring of 2023
Plan for building to begin Spring of 2023 to be open Winter/Spring of 2024. The GC has been selected along with all subcontractors. Work on the lot will begin as soon as the purchase is finalized.
Processing Services Offered
The Construction Team
For two years IST and Berg Industries, with the help of the City of Gering, have been planning and designing the PCMC facility. In partnership with local contractor Adam Reed, this group will build, maintain, consult, aid in staffing, and write all needed HACCP and operational safety plans.
Special Thanks to Our Team!
Many have helped get us here...
Frank Papenberg, Berg Industries
Travis Papenberg, IST
Michelle Coolidge, TCD
Spencer Rien, NBDC
Annie Folck, City of Gering
Pat Heath, City of Gering
Marla Marx, USDA
Greg Goodell, The Diary Authority
Brittany Hardin, NDED
Starr Lehl, City of Scottsbluff
Tony Kaufman, Mayor of Gering
Chuck Beck, NBDC
Joan Scheel, USDA
Bruce Brodeen, Advisor
In the News
We are booking appointments right now.
Get priority booking before our doors open to the public!
Call Dean to pre-book: 308.641.4596
Or, fill out the form and we'll call you!