Jake and Melissa Roberts, owners of Roberts Custom Meat Processing in Lebanon, Missouri. Photo by Laura L. Valenti.
Jake and Melissa Roberts, owners of Roberts Custom Meat Processing. Photo by Laura L. Valenti.

Location: Lebanon, Mo.

Owners: Jake and Melissa Roberts

History: After years of raising beef cattle, Jake and Melissa Roberts opened their own meat processing plant on their farm in rural Laclede County in February 2021. 

“I was looking for a way to do more work at home,” Jake explained. “With the shortages brought on by the COVID pandemic, I’d gone back on the road, trucking but with a wife and two teenagers at home, that is not where I wanted or needed to be. Not that Melissa can’t do anything and everything needed here because she can. She’s probably a better farmer than me, being raising around it.”

Products And Services: “We process our own beef, as well as animals for other people. We sell halves, wholes and quarters. We are not able to do and sell individual cuts at this time, but we are inspected by the Missouri Department of Agriculture to make sure we are doing everything right,” Jake explained.

“We designed and built this facility ourselves, including the cooler and the cutting room. We had a refrigeration company to do their part to make certain we got it all right. So far, we’ve been processing for ourselves and several of our neighbors. Being located out here in the country, we are hoping to let people know we are here and ready to serve them, too.

“We do general processing and have beef, hogs and lambs for sale for butchering. We vac-seal everything. We don’t do paper wrap at this time. That’s an art we’ve not yet mastered,” he added with a smile. 

“We have plenty of room and can hang meat for 10, 14, or 21 days, as per the farmers’ choice. We are available nights, evenings, weekends to help in the case of farm mishaps, to process a cow immediately, if needed. We’re looking to keep this operation small, local and in the family.”

Jake and Melissa’s daughter Taylor, 14, and son, Trevor, 12, also help in their family’s farm and meat processing operations. 

Future Plans: “We hope to go under slaughter inspection in the future. We don’t want to be a retail operation, but we’d like to get to a point where we could sell our own beef to individuals,” Jake said.


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