Mid-States Speciality Eggs

Owners: Marion Hostetler and Dale Schrock
Location: Berryville, Ark.
Managers: Ted Hostetler and Galen Kropf

History: Ten years ago, Missouri turkey farmers, Marion Hostetler and Dale Schrock, wanted to produce and sell their own safe, universal food product. They settled on eggs in a cage free environment.
The change allowed the men to use their existing facilities in a new way.
According Ted Hostetler and Galen Kropf, managers of the operation, the two brothers-in-law first sought a market with strict product standard legislation finding one in California.
All operations were cage free with some range free, as well with each hen having 1.2 square-feet of space. Using a nutritionist, Marion and Dale developed and antibiotic and growth hormone free feed program, some of which was organic and some of which was conventional. Thus Mid-States Specialty Eggs was born. The first MSSE plant was in Smithton, Mo., near Sedalia. In the beginning, MSSE sold nest run eggs to be processed and sorted by their California buyer but later changed using a broker and selling more locally, while maintaining California standards to ensure the best product possible. They built a new plant in Berryville, Ark., and began grading eggs there a year ago. MSSE picks up the eggs from the farms for processing once a week while the broker picks up the processed eggs for distribution.

Products and Services: Ted Hostetler and Galen Kropf explained that the Berryville site averages 80,000 dozen eggs a day, half of which are organic and half of which are conventional. The plant works a 10-hour grading shift and sorts into medium, large, extra-large and jumbo sizes. The eggs are washed and blown dry, disinfected with UV light and then computer inspected for dirt and cracks. They are sorted by weight and placed on a conveyor belt for delivery according to size where they placed in a carton and dated. Then they are boxed, taped and palletized awaiting broker-hired to carry the product to the distribution centers.


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