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Meriden meat plant under new ownership

Bowser Meat Processing

Photo by Clarke Davis
Ed Johnson, plant manager, and David Tinney, part owner, at Bowser Meat Processing in Meriden. Three investors have purchased the plant owned the last 25 years by Francis Petesch.

by Clarke Davis
Bowser Meat Processing, Meriden, is under new ownership and there are plans for expansion soon.
The new owners are David Tinney, Matt McCauley, and Chad Bontrager, all of whom are Jackson County cattle ranchers. Manager of the plant is Ed Johnson, Mayetta.
The meat packing plant was built in 1967 and was purchased by Francis Petesch in September 1990. The sale to the new owners took place Jan. 1. The Bowser name will be retained.
Three Petesch children, Greg, Terry, and Cheryl, remain employed by the business. Macaila Saia is a new employee. Greg’s wife, Kirsti, helped out with the transition, but has taken another job.
Tinney, who will handle the business end, said this is the first business venture for the three owners outside of their land and cattle interests.
“We want to expand the capacity of this plant and purchase more plants in a few years,” Tinney said.
“We love this location and town and believe with Ed on board he can train managers that will be needed at other locations,” Tinney said.
He noted that freezer space was the limiting factor at the Meriden plant and once that was remedied the plant would have a shorter waiting period, which is now up to three months to get a beef butchered.
One new piece of equipment that is coming will automate the weighing and packaging of hamburger and will speed the process.
“There’s a huge demand and a growing number of people who want to support local ranchers,” Tinney said.
He noted that the plant would not be processing any of the owners’ cattle.
“If someone wants to buy meat from us, we will buy from local cattle feeders,” he said, but they encourage local feeders to market their livestock to local customers.
Because the plant is state inspected, cattle feeders can use Bowser’s to process their beef — cut to order — and resell to consumers.
“People want to know where their product comes from and how it was raised,” Tinney said. “Those who have done it know that you can get steaks and roasts for hamburger prices.”
Johnson was a meat inspector for the state of Kansas for 10 years and has seven years of meat plant experience in Topeka and Holton. He was a supervisor for the Banner Creek Co., formerly Oldem’s, at Holton. He and his wife, Teri, have three sons.
The new owners all have families. Tinney is from Kansas City, Mo., where he left a high school class numbering 1,500 and walked into a Holton class with 88 students. It was through his wife, Cassie, and her family that he became interested in cattle and agriculture. They have four daughters.
McCauley and his wife, Kelly, have two sons. He’s David’s brother-in-law.
Bontrager and his wife, Mandy, have four daughters. He is a classmate of Tinney’s and is the assistant secretary  of agriculture for the state of Kansas.
Tinney said they all have cattle operations in Jackson County and a finishing yard north of Scott City.

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Posted by on Feb 18 2016. Filed under The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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