Location: Rudy, Ark.

Owners: Richard and Treva Rice 

Office manager: Nichole Lovejoy

History: Three years ago, Richard and Treva Rice took over Cockrums Meat Processing in Rudy, Ark., and launched Rice Custom Meat Processing. 

Products: Rice Custom Meat Processing offers custom processing of beef, hogs, sheep and goats. 

Office manager Nichole Lovejoy said about 200 animals are processed monthly, with beef and pork processing being the greatest demand. Around 15 sheep and goats are processed a month. This time of year, deer season brings a great deal of business to Rice Custom Meat Processing, with about 3,500 deer passing through. 

Rice Custom Meat Processing began a retail store two years ago. 

“We buy boxed beef from Missouri, and we cut it up, make what our customers want and sell it in our store,” Nichole explained, adding that specials are offered weekly. “We also have pork and poultry as well. We have our specialty items too, like our summer sausage and German sausage.” 

There is also the Rice line of beef jerky, which features three flavors. This year, thanks to licensing through the Arkansas Fish and Game Department, the business will be selling venison.

“That’s new this year,” Nichole said. “Used to, if someone didn’t pick up a deer, we had to donate. Now, we can sell it and try to recoup the processing costs.”

Rice Custom Meat Processing recently completed a renovation of the penning area, making the unloading of live animals a little easier.

A dozen people work at the Rudy, Ark., processor. 

Future Plans: Nichole said she isn’t aware of any plans to expand, but said business has been steady, and she expects to see growth in the future.


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