Family Business Brings Local Foods, New Jobs to Rural Community

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Erin McDuff
(503) 414-3304
Photo: Hines Meat Company in La Grande, Oregon, began processing local meat and offering a full service meat counter in June 2016.

Jake and Paige Hines dreamed about expanding the local foods market in their small, rural town of La Grande in northeastern Oregon. They knew their community wanted the ability to buy locally produced meat, so they planned to open a meat processing plant and retail store. They quickly discovered, however, that access to capital is often limited in rural areas, especially for start-up businesses. It proved difficult for the Hines family to secure the financing they needed to make their vision a reality.

They finally succeeded in securing a loan through Old West Federal Credit Union with the help of USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry Program, which guaranteed 80 percent of the loan, sharing the risk with the lender. With financing secured, they soon began construction on their new facility.

Hines Meat Company opened its doors in June 2016. This locally owned and operated business provides custom meat processing, in-house curing and smoking, on-site slaughter, a full service meat counter, and catering for events.

In its first year of operation, Hines Meat Company processed domestic and wild game animals, providing the meat back to the customers. The Hines family expects to receive USDA certification for their facility in the summer of 2017, which will allow them to begin processing local meat for retail sale. Nevertheless, the business was able to hire 10 full-time and 6 part-time employees during peak season in its first year.

Looking to the future, Jake and Paige Hines hope to expand the business further by serving lunch at their new facility. They envision their business becoming a staple of the community that will provide an additional, steady market for the region’s livestock producers while making local products more readily accessible for their neighbors.

Fast Facts

Obligation Amount$640,000 loan guarantee
Date of ObligationOctober 2015
Congressional District2
Senator's Last NamesWyden and Merkley