One of my goals at the Ohio Pork Council is to learn more about the food system – specifically about pork and what happens in processing. Recently, Queen City Sausage Company in Cincinnati graciously hosted Quinton, my partner in pork promotion, and me for lunch and a tour of their processing plant.
We had the opportunity to meet with some of Queen City’s leadership team and discuss what the things each of us do on a daily basis to provide a food product and enhance Ohio’s pork industry. I shared my background of growing up on a pig farm in central Ohio and the team shared how Queen City Sausage originated. Owner Elmer Hensler greeted us and proudly shared how much focus the company puts on sourcing quality ingredients. He shared that opportunity to buy cheaper, frozen meat is out there, but they focus on buying fresh, quality meat. With much of today’s society being focused on the next deal we’re able to make or how much money we can safe doing this or that, I personally find it comforting to hear from people and businesses who are willing to take extra steps to ensure that the products I purchase for an affordable price can also yield a tasty eating experience (that’s ag-speak for “I like my food to taste good”).
The team shared that most of their pork is purchased from processors here in Ohio, or in an adjacent state, and that most of their sausage and other products are sold in the Cincinnati area. I was very excited to hear they purchase pork from the same processors many of our Ohio farmers sell pigs to. This means, if you buy Queen City Sausage, there’s a good chance you are enjoying Ohio pork. I’m sure Queen City has made sausage from pork that was raised on my family’s farm or my husband’s family farm at some point!
We were shown through the processing plant and we got to see the equipment that is used daily to make delicious brats, metts, goetta, deli meats and more! The staff proudly pointed out several additions to the plant that have taken place over the past fifty years. They shared how Elmer took a lot of risk with each addition and how hard he has worked has enabled steady growth over the years.
A highlight of the tour was enjoying samples of several different products for lunch.
The group also sent us each home with a goody bag of sausages.
Personally, I found a lot of good in this quick trip to Cincinnati. The take-home point, for me, was that there is a lot of good in our food system, regardless of what we’re sometimes told to believe via the latest meme on our favorite social media site. There are a lot of hard-working people out there that strive everyday to get a little bit better at their craft and deliver a safe, healthy and tasty food product. I appreciate where my food comes from and look forward to continuing to learn a little more about it each day.