Bontrager joins Yoder Meat Market partnership
There’s a new Bontrager in town, but he’s no relation to the folks who live around this small Amish community.
Or at least, Chad Bontrager of Holton doesn’t have any relatives in Yoder that he knows of.
But on this weekday afternoon, he stood in the meat market of Yoder Meats - three hours from the Jackson County farm where he grew up. He purchased the custom meat processing and retail market in late August.
“I have four employees here whose last name is Bontrager,” said Bontrager of one of the family names of the area. “It would be interesting to compare my branch to some of the Bontragers that are here and see if there is a point where they come together.”
It might seem odd to some that a northeast Kansas man is establishing some roots in a little Reno County town where he has no connection. But Bontrager is a familiar face in Kansas agriculture - and leaders know his passion for the industry and marketing Kansas products.
During his tenure as the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s deputy secretary of agriculture, Bontrager has gotten a foothold in the state’s small retail meat market.
It started in January of 2016 when he and a couple of investors purchased the Bowser Meat Processing plant in Meriden.
“What sparked my interest was growing up with cattle and still being involved in that business, knowing there is more value that gets added as the supply chain goes along,” Bontrager said. “That got me interested in owning a meat locker.”
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