Fourth Generation Meat Packing Business - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Meat Packing Business Still Cutting It After More Than a Century

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By Ron Marasco


They've called Des Moines home for nearly 150 years, and have run their business out of an old brick building on SE 18th Street since 1928.  

The Amends Packing Company processes mainly beef.  Kent Wiese and his wife Amy own the plant.  Kent's been cutting up beef for nearly four decades.

"I never thought I'd do something like this when I graduated from high school," said Kent.  "But it's just something I like doing."

Most of the time Amends Packing serves as the middle person between the producer and the customer.

"With the farmers' markets growing the way they have, the producer wants to own his cattle all the way through, and I think it's great," said Wiese.

Amends stores the beef in a 35 degree locker for 18 to 21 days.  It's a process called dry aging. Wiese says the meat becomes more tender this way.

"I think the dry aging thing is coming back," said Wiese.  "You know, it's just old fashioned.  That's the way they used to do it."

Amends processes 12 to 14 head a week.  They serve about two dozen producers.

"I like working with producers, you know, showing them the different cuts and what we can do," said Wiese.  "And when their customers say what a great steak or roast I've had, that makes me feel good."

Daryl and Melissa Doty bring their Black Angus cattle to Amends all the way from Malcom, Iowa.

"Being a small producer, we can't get what the big producers can (in terms of price)," said Daryl.

So by selling it directly to consumers after the beef's processed at Amends can make a big difference.

"If you buy a whole beef from us, which is the cheapest way to buy it in volume, it's actually cheaper than going to the grocery store, and the quality is way better," said Daryl.

The Doty's say they don't have any beefs with Amends Packing, and that they like keeping control of their final product.

"I think the biggest thing is just educating the community on what we do," said Melissa. "Because so many people are just used to going to the supermarket to get their meat, that they don't realize that there's still a lot of people out there that do what we do."

And something else they do, deliver it right to their customer's door depending on the order size.

"And this is why it's just something that makes us stand out from the other producers," said Melissa.

If you want more information on the Doty Angus Cattle Company, you can click here.   For more information on the Amends Packing Company, you can click here.

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