History

Our History

Advanced Meat Processing has a lot of history in the Van Buren area. Originally built by the Lasiter family in the late 1950's, the one room slaughter house served the farmers of the entire area.
The Lasiter's moved on to Waldron in 1962, selling the slaughter house to the Garner family. The business burned to the ground right after the transaction. James W. Garner rebuilt the plant and was open for business in the same year. The plant served as a custom slaughter house unitl 1984. In the early 80's, the Garner son, James D. Garner, had plans of expansion. After a several hundred thousand dollar expansion, the processing plant become a USDA facility. It now had a tremendous amount of cooler and freezer space. It had retail meat sales to the public and could offer both Custom and Inspected slaughter. After many, many years of a tremendous business, struggles had begin to set in. The younger Garner had been diagnosed with a terrible disease, the family was having to put a lot of money in the plant to keep doors open, and at 80 years of age, James W. Garner knew it was time to retire.
Spending a lifetime building a business, you can understand how Mr. Garner didn't want to just close the doors. He wanted it to be successful. In the fall of 2009, the decision was made to sell us the business. The shoe just fit. My dad, Roger Key, Sr and some of his family had been in red meat most of their lives. My first job as a 16 year old was for John Garner Meats as a clean up boy, and I still have to use that experience sometimes! I had been involved in local business for several years and grew up here. My wife, Melanie, had been in local business. She grew up and her family still lives in Charleston! There's a lot of farmers in that part of the country, and she knows them all. With lots of prayer and effort, we knew we could make our ideas work. December 15, 2009, brought lots of change to Garner Abattoir once again. My dad had agreed to come to work for us, and the Key Family tenure began. We immediately changed the packaging of the meat, and began marketing our services and products. We brought in the first computer. We changed internal operations. We changed employees. We changed the way we handled the livestock. We changed, and changed, and changed. In 2013, we have added poultry. Yes. We slaughter free range chickens under USDA Inspection now
Today, we run like an oiled machine. We have lots of smiling customers from all over. I know of a couple who drives 2 hours to come see us regularly. We have family from Dallas that comes in everytime they're in town. We also have a tremendous repeat slaughter business. We get livestock from across Arkansas and Oklahoma. We love new customers too! If we don't know you, we will when you leave! Also on the property, we have relocated the Advanced Taxidermy business and started a new business called Advanced Hydrographics. They all go hand in hand. We can sell you a gun, camouflage it, sell you meat for deer camp, and then process your deer and mount the head on your return. We are extremely blessed with business, employees, and customers. We hope you choose to be a part of it. Roger and Melanie Key

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