Serving the High Plains

Meat processing facility on way to Tucumcari

Three members of one family soon after New Year's Day will open Tucumcari's first meat-processing facility in decades.

Triple E Custom Meats, its construction mostly complete southeast of Tucumcari about 2 1/2 miles south of old Route 66 on Quay Road AK, not only will butcher cattle and hogs for area farmers, but also wild game such as deer and elk during hunting season.

One of the principals, Tommy Evans, said in a phone interview they anticipate being able to butcher 10 head of cattle per week once the facility is fully operating in early 2022 after inspections are complete.

Robert Evans also is a part owner, as will be Matthew Evans, who will be the general manager.

One full-time worker will be hired, plus two part-time workers, Tommy Evans said.

He said the size of the facility can be doubled if the demand is there. The plant already has a large refrigeration and freezer unit installed, including one from a defunct doughnut shop in Tucumcari.

The family also owns a nearby irrigation sprinkler company, Evans Ag Services. Evans said the idea for the facility took shape about six months ago due to local demand.

"The large meat packers are taking a big chunk out of the ranchers, and we wanted to do something for the community," he said.

The next-closest meat processors are in Fort Sumner or Dalhart, Texas. Evans said Triple E already has lined up about 100 clients - some as far away as Moriarty and Mosquero - wanting to bringing their cattle to be butchered. Evans said one rancher has committed 30 head of cattle as soon as the facility opens.

Because it will operate as a custom meat-processing facility, Triple E won't sell any beef or pork from its front door for the time being.

However, Evans does foresee the possibility of doing that, along with offering jerky and sausage links, in the future. Triple E eventually may process goats and sheep, too.

Evans acknowledged they are in talks with Mesalands Community College to partner on the college's planned mobile meat-processing program. Mesalands President Gregg Busch mentioned in previous board of trustees meetings about the possible partnership.

Evans estimated Triple E would be Tucumcari's first meat-processing plant in at least 30 years. The last one was 66 Packing.

"It's exciting," Evans said of the business venture. "It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I see a lot of potential."

Rendered 06/15/2024 23:13