Through the years, Thrushwood Farms has adopted a flexible mindset, which has allowed their meat processing business to flourish during times when small processors struggled. For example, when farming became more challenging in the 1980s, Jim Hankes says their business slowed down so they began catering on the side. In the 1990s, they added deer processing for their customers. Since 2008, the company has done a robust business in co-packing, and now most of Thrushwood’s sales is from co-packing private-level snack sticks, bars, bites and restructured jerky, also known as ready-to-eat products (RTE). Today they offer a selection of high-quality red meats, as well as smoked items and an extensive array of meat snack sticks for sale through their website and retail store. Here are three Thrushwoodisms that made us think about the pork on our table.
1. Don't be afraid to take risks.
2. You can't be everything for everybody.
3. Quality always matters.
Learn more about how Thrushwood Farms is adding value from farm to fork in Farm Journal PORK’s three-part series.
The People Behind the Pork
Huddled around a kitchen table 42 years ago, Jim Hankes sketched out a plan on the back of a napkin to build a meat processing plant. What seemed like a far-fetched idea for this 20-something country kid turned into a thriving, award-winning meat processing plant.
Building a Snack Stick Empire
An entrepreneur at heart, Doug Hankes' passion to make a better snack stick has their family-owned business, Thrushwood Farms, on a path to double their snack stick production by 2020.
Snack Sticks 101: Adding Value to Pork
Farm Journal PORK goes behind-the-scenes to learn what it takes to make one of Thrushwood Farms' popular snack sticks.