Clinton Magazine Spring 2022 - Page 9

Andrew Naeve , right , discusses a project at Naeve Family Beef in Camanche .
“ It was a ginormous undertaking ,” Andrew Naeve says , but he wasn ’ t surprised that it would be . “ We ’ re realistic as to what it would take .”
Without the support of the entire family and everyone working together as a team , Andrew says this venture wouldn ’ t have been possible , and there ’ s still more yet to be done . The exterior of the plant is complete , but the interior has yet to be finished . In just one short month , the drywall currently being sanded will no longer be exposed , a drop ceiling will be installed over the retail store , and employees will be working on temperature-controlled floors . Historically , plant conditions for employees have been less than ideal , with inadequate ventilation and space , but the Naeve Family Beef plant has been designed with attention to employee comfort and safety , including allowing enough room for everyone to be spaced out in an appropriate manner .
With the employment of 55 to 65 people , the plant will have the capacity to process and package 60 head of cattle per day , 60 % of which will be the high-quality cattle that comes straight from the Naeve family farm . The process that cattle will then go through at the plant is incredibly involved .
To summarize , it begins with the unloading of the cattle into a pen outside the plant , where they are given time to calm down after the ride there and the first of many USDA checks occurs . Next , they ’ re moved inside to the “ Kill Floor ’’ to be harvested and their carcasses washed to kill bacteria . They then hang in the “ Carcass Cooler ” for 2 days , where the goal is to bring the temperature of the carcasses down to 34 degrees as quickly as possible using a spray chill system .
On the “ Grading Chain ,” they ’ re sorted according to USDA meat classifications , then sorted again by other criteria on the “ Fabrication Floor .” This is also where the “ trim ” ( meat and fat that will become ground beef ) is removed , and the carcasses are vacuum-packed and

I do think there ’ s a lot of political headwind to encourage people to build plants like these , because the industry has gotten consolidated into these four major packers that have , like , 80 % of the capacity , and so once their workers got hit by Covid , that ’ s when we ’ d seen they had to shut down plants and the meat shortages , so I think there ’ s a big push to help make these plants more of a reality .”

- Andrew Naeve , President of Naeve Family Beef

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Spring 2022 Clinton Magazine 9