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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 28, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE January PERSONAL SERVICE LIFEBLOOD AT MACLEOD MEAT PROCESSING PLANT BILL GROENEN photos ARIE DEN BOON OPERATES SLAUGHTER LIFT By RIC SWIHART Herald Staff Writer FORT MACLEOD From a one man slaughter house operation in 1953, Arie Den Boon has built up a thriving meat processing plant which Saturday will see the official opening of Fort Macleod Meat Processors Ltd.'s latest ex- pansion. Mr. Den Boon came to Canada in 1953 from his native Holland where he had been a butcher since he was 14 years old. Sponsored by Fort Macleod butcher Lawrence Butcher to come to Canada, Mr. Den Boon, 52, worked in the former Dixon Meat Market for about 18 months. At the time he had rented space on. Fort. Macleod's main street to construct a sausage making business to supply Safeway Canada Ltd. and other large stores. Following this venture he was employed by City Packers in Lethbridge and when the local firm bought a slaughter house in Taber, Mr. Den Boon was named manager. He worked in Taber 30 months. For the next two years, he operated a meat business in Bow Island before returning to Fort Macleod in 1961. At that time, he rented the slaughter house on the site of his meat processing mile east of Fort Macleod on Highway 3. Because his small plant only had facilities to kill animals, his main job was to supply dressed carcasses for the butcher shop in Fort Macleod. He bought the business in 1966 and that same year he started the first of several expansions to add cutting, wrapping and freezing facilities. This changed His operation from a slaughter house to a meat processing plant. In that year, he killed and processed hogs and cattle, using the services of only one other man. In 1967, he built a new slaughter plant and add- ed new freezer and cooler space that allowed him to build his business to animals by 1969. He then had six employees. That was also the first year he entered provin- cial and national meat competitions, winning both Alberta and Canadian'ribbons for smoked meat. Yet another expansion program was started in 1972 when a front office addition and more cooler and freezer space were included. Eight employees that year processed animals. The last expansion was started in 1974. All of the original wooden buildings in the slaughter house he first came to in 1953 were replaced with concrete block structures. While the processing plant remains basically the same business of providing personal custom meat processing service to the public, the new plant is designed to meet federal meat process- ing regulations. The new plant has office space for federal government graders and inspectors. The meat now processed at the plant is inspected by provincial men. The enlarged processing plant employs 10 butchers and meat cutters and four women who wrap the cut meat. There is one permanent and one part time office worker. In 1974, considering the plant was closed 10 weeks for construction, the plant processed animals. CHECKING CARCASSE Mr. Den Boon sets no o tion. "Our aim is expansk Set just south of the high cement block building is for the numerous clean which line part of the bulle entrance. The livestock enters the side where a large barn ha hold animals waiting for s Mr. Den Boon said with tl can kill up to 40 cattle in the men are still learning saving equipment in the pi EXTERIOR OF MO ;