Enid will see an expansion of its agricultural capacity with the announcement of Chisholm Trail Meats, a meat processing facility that will be located in Garfield County Industrial Park.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday , Aug. 3, 2022, at 1820 N. 54th, the location of the new facility.

With a goal of being up and running in January or February, the facility will be about 17,000 square feet located under one roof. It will have an ability to kill 50 heads of beef a week with some hogs and lamb sprinkled in.

Chisholm Trail Meats will do custom processing for any farmer who wants to bring meat to the facility. There also will be private label processing for sale in retail, as well as buying and selling of cattle for T&C Meats, the affiliated retail shop.

Eldon Campbell of Chisholm Trail Meats and T&C Meats said the process for getting the new facility built began in 2020 following the supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’ll open up processing capacity for those farmers that are trying to sell their beef or people who will want to buy wholes, halves and quarters, that are driving three hours away,” Campbell said.

“Some of that money goes out of state to Kansas. It’s really a problem, with just not having enough capacity, because there hasn’t been facilities built in a long time.”

Campbell said T&C Meats has been in business for more than five years, and the initiative of having a meat processing plant has always been a goal. He said during the pandemic, it became apparent there was a huge need for such a facility.

“T&C Meats has been around as an idea since 2013. It’s very hard to believe we’ve been open for five and a half years now as a retail shop,” Campbell said. “During the pandemic, we really got tired of the phone calls asking if we could custom slaughter people’s beef or private label their beef.”

Lisa Powell, executive director of Enid Regional Development Alliance, said Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry realized early on the struggles of a lack of meat processing facilities in the state.

Powell said ODAFF stepped up with some grant money in 2020 designated for getting meat processing facilities off the ground. Chisholm Trail Meats was a recipient of some of the money, but was only a small part in getting to the point of the facility becoming a reality.

Enid Mayor George Pankonin said new businesses are always encouraged to come to town, but new business owners are especially encouraged to add their endeavors to the Enid economy.

“Many prospective new business owners, including Eldon, were able to start their businesses in the incubator program located at the Autry Tech center campus,” Pankonin said. “Typically they stay on campus for three years before transitioning to a permanent business location. T&C Meats located their business in a newly built strip mall on Chestnut just west of Cleveland.

“Eldon and his partners’ vision included expanding beyond the storefront operation they so successfully created. Every day, I am amazed and excited to watch the entrepreneurs of today become the community business leaders of tomorrow.”

Don Roberts, chair of Garfield County Industrial Authority, spoke about the importance of the facility coming to Enid, especially with its roots in the agriculture industry.

“It’s a perfect fit for our area and the value added with opportunities that it brings, especially to the livestock industry,” Roberts said.

Article by: Tanner Holubar, Enid News & Eagle 8.4.22