It's All Good!
By now my resignation announcement from Alleghany Meats has resonated throughout the Highland County community and the social media community. I wanted to address my friends, colleagues, clients and fans in a letter today to explain why I am leaving and what is on the horizon for me as a meat processor. This letter is both a “thank you” to the community for putting your faith in me, and also a clarification to make sure that you hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth - we all know that the Highland rumor mill runs like a well oiled machine.
The truth is, we’ve really enjoyed our time here. This opportunity came to me when I needed it, and I was happy to come here when you all needed me, too. I feel that the past year has been mutually beneficial to us both. You’ve helped me learn how to open a processing plant from an empty building, and I was able to help the community see a broader vision for their agricultural economy. I thank you for that.
I’ve heard that the community is worried that the customers we’ve gained will lose trust in Alleghany Meats because their trust lied with me. I am humbled that you all trust me with your livestock and your livelihoods. However, my goal was for my customers to trust the business; not just one employee. I’ve trained my team not only in the day-to-day tasks of the job, but also the principles that made me get into processing in the first place: respect for my customers’ animals, quality cutting, excellent customer service, honesty and fairness. If you only trust me and not Alleghany Meats; then I will have failed at my job.
Sometimes, you cannot choose when doors open for you. You just have the choice to walk through them or not. I am taking the opportunity to pursue a project in California that has been a long time in the making. I’m working with an excellent team of chefs and business people who want to transform a part of a city that has been on the brink of revitalization.
I am also going to continue developing Fuller Consulting - my advising side-project helping both fledgling and established meat processors build and run their businesses more efficiently. The one thing I’ve learned from working in two small slaughterhouses is that there is always room for improvement, and there are opportunities to learn and save from others’ experiences. The consulting business isn’t so that I can “make more money” - although, that would be nice - rather it is coming from my desire to help people who are committed to the idea of a regional food economy to do it right. There are thousands of dollars to be saved in construction and operations - learn from me. Let me help you.
Highland County is paradise, and the pride and ownership that the community has of this place only makes it better. I know that you all will do what is right for the Ag Center and for our region. Just keep the ultimate goal in mind, and you will come together to make it work, I know it. I imagine myself and my wife retiring in a community like this; but for now, adventure calls!