Article by: Cathy Enerson
CEDA’s Cathy Enerson, who served as Spring Valley’s EDA Director, secured a $42,011 Minnesota Value Added Grant for Valley Butchery and Meat Market. The grant will assist with an expansion to the building and equipment purchases. Rusty and Tanner Hellickson have owned Valley Butchery and Meat Market in Spring Valley for only two years. The Hellicksons are former employees of Kraut Meat Locker, and are what are referred to by Enerson as a succession story. The economic impact and success from the grant includes retaining six full time jobs, increasing the number of days per week for processing, saving energy, and saving labor. Efficiency doubles when both Tanner and Rusty process at the same time, therefore the new equipment and required separation of space while processing doubles the owner’s ability to process meats. Retail customers will be able to select from the newly installed eight door self-serve freezer case.
Valley Butchery and Meat Market is becoming a valuable retail outlet for area livestock farmers. emerging fish and shrimp farmers, and for those in the area that raise bees. Once construction of the expansion project is complete, their smoke house will smoke seven new varieties of smoked links and varieties of trout. There will be less overall transportation, and improved environmental impact when local farmers raise more animals and have them processed locally. With food safety always in the forefront, the expansion project will bring the plant up to current code. The Hellickson’s indicate that the new expansion space and the new equipment will improve overall health for themselves and their employees, and express their gratitude to Enerson for the work in securing the grant funds. The Hellickson’s share that they may hire one additional retail person, and an additional part-time seasonal processor. In addition, the Hellickson’s will be able to aide the Department of Natural Resources by processing the deer from area CWD hunts.
This is the second MN Value Added grant that Cathy Enerson has written. Enerson has secured a total of $150,000 in grant funds for local butchers in SE MN.