SPECIAL REPORT: McNeese and the meat we eat

SPECIAL REPORT: McNeese and the meat we eat
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - When you enjoy a good burger or a fresh steak here in town, do you ever wonder where it comes from?

What if we told you some of that meat came from right here in Lake Charles, at our very own McNeese State University.

Inside Jack Daniel's Bar & Grill are plenty of people enjoying a nice cooked meal.

Back in the kitchen, you'll find Chef Lyle Broussard preparing those dishes.

What's on the menu today? Rib roast.

Cooked to perfection.

But wait. Where exactly did that rib roast come from?

Well it all starts at the McNeese Farm just off of Highway 14 in Lake Charles.

"When I sit down and eat a steak, boy I hope it came from the McNeese farm," said McNeese farm and ranch manager, Darrin Goodwin.

And luckily for those who eat steaks and rib roast at Jack Daniel's, that's  exactly where it comes from.

Today Goodwin's  feeding the cows.

"Those calves are born in January, February, March and then this time of the year, September, October we're weaning them," said Goodwin. "So we're weaning these calves, we're getting them on feed, we're bunk breaking them, we're getting them all their necessary vaccination shots, and everything they need to go to that next step."

Which takes those cows out to another farm in Kinder and then they end up at the university's center for meat production and processing or the CAMPP facility in Lacassine.

After those cows and other animals are slaughtered, CAMPP manager Joel Jackson and his crew get to work.

"We'll go ahead and cut to their specifications," said Jackson. "Package it up, label it, freeze that product, and get it ready to ship."

While this facility works to process and package meat coming in, it's also giving hands on experience to workers Caleb Ramsey and Caleb Zaunbrecher, who are also students.

The first summer I got to come out here I started working so it's been a pretty good three years," said Ramsey.

I absolutely enjoy it," said Zaunbrecher. "It's something I knew I liked, but I didn't think I'd love it quite this much."

Then some of that product ends up at Oasis foods where general manager Shadi Abrusley works to distribute it to restaurants.

"To say local is one thing, but to do local is different and I feel like we're really doing local," said Abrusley.

Local all the way down to the employees they hire.

"McNeese CAMPP is the sole reason I'm here," said employee Spencer Albert.

Albert use to work at the CAMPP facility where he ended up meeting Abrusley, and now works for his company.

"It's kind of cool actually cause I know everything that these guys do," said Albert. "I know the greatness, I know the time and I know the care that they put into all their products."

All that meat goes back into Oasis Foods freezers where soon it will end up back into the hands of Chef Broussard.

And onto the tables of those ready to enjoy a great meal.

"When they have that plate, they have that meal in front of them," said Abrusley. "They want to enjoy it, they pay good money for it."

And for those dining here, now you know exactly where that delicious rib roast came from.

You can purchase meat at the Lacassine facility or you can also purchase meat at McNeese State University's campus.

To learn more about CAMPP, click HERE.

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