CAMANCHE, Iowa – Andrew Naeve recently looked over his family’s new business with pride. On a cold, snowy day in late February, the new Naeve Family Beef processing facility was still under construction. A small army of workers was busy doing ceiling work, electrical work and setting up the internet for the building. In fact, […]
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CAMANCHE, Iowa – Andrew Naeve recently looked over his family’s new business with pride.
On a cold, snowy day in late February, the new Naeve Family Beef processing facility was still under construction. A small army of workers was busy doing ceiling work, electrical work and setting up the internet for the building. In fact, the front door for the $10.3 million business project was expected to be installed on this day.
“This has always been a dream of our family; to create this business,” Mr. Naeve, president of Naeve Family Beef and third generation farmer, said during a recent tour of the facility under construction at 1902 Seventh St., Camanche.
A big part of that dream is for the Naeve family to create its own brand of beef through the new processing facility. The new plant will be used primarily to process Angus cattle for sale to local and regional customers.
Naeve Family Beef, which is almost ready to open, will be at the center of a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 5.
Mr. Naeve said he hopes to expand its beef sales to a broader network including area restaurants, grocery stores and distributors. There will also be a retail store inside the facility to sell beef directly to the public.
“We’ve had excellent support from the community,” he added. “A lot of people are really excited to see this finished.”
He hopes that excitement will translate into many new customers to help the new business.
In the world of meat processing, Mr. Naeve points out that the new Camanche facility will be a small competitor that cannot do many of the things that the larger meat processing companies can do. The way Naeve Family Beef will succeed, he said, is to attract customers who like the idea of purchasing locally grown products.
Mr. Naeve said that one of the big concerns his family had about the new business was finding employees. Due to the ongoing workforce shortage hitting many businesses, he said the family thought it would not find enough workers or would have to hire people new to the industry and train them in every aspect of the beef processing business.
Instead, much to his surprise, the business has been able to find and hire experienced meat processing workers.
“We’ve been blessed to have so many people interested in working for us. … There’s been a lot of interest from people. I think they also like the idea of starting with a business where they can really leave their handprints on how things turn out,” he added.
Mr. Naeve said that another reason experienced workers are showing interest is because Naeve Family Beef expects to run on the weekdays – not the weekends. Many people in the field have routinely worked at least six days a week and every weekend. The new facility will give workers more time with their families, he added.
Also, Mr. Naeve said his family’s well-established business reputation has likely attracted potential employees who want to work for a family-owned business.
The Naeve family is a six-generation farm family that raises cattle, grows crops and operates a trucking company based in nearby Andover, Iowa. There are three generations now working on the family farm. They include: Allan Naeve; his son, Ray Naeve; and grandsons, Andrew and Adam Naeve.
“It’s just extremely rewarding working with the family,” Andrew Naeve added. “The key to making this work is leaving the business at the business. … The rest of the time we are a family.”