SPRINGFIELD – As part of his innovative Opportunity Returns regional economic development plan, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced a $25,000 grant to Glacier Beef, a Morrison agriculture company, to help better promote and market its beef products. Morrison is in Whiteside County and is part of the Northwest region.
“Opportunity Returns will continue making targeted investments in cutting edge and creative ventures like Glacier Beef, companies that have long term viability and a potential to create additional jobs,” Governor Blagojevich said. “This marketing grant will be a major boost to Glacier Beef as its tries to capture more customers with its unique beef products and, hopefully, lead to an expansion of their operations.”
The Opportunity Returns regional economic development plan is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history. Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – finding areas with common economic strengths and needs, and developing a plan with specific actions for each region. This grassroots effort for the Northwest region was the product of significant outreach over several months with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected officials. The more than 25 projects that the Governor announced last October for Northwestern Illinois are designed to be flexible and effective. This plan is tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see, feel, and, hopefully, profit from.
The Northwest region includes Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Rock Island, Mercer, Henry, Bureau, Lee, Putnam, and LaSalle County.
“It’s businesses like Glacier who can really help open new markets for Illinois products,” said Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke. “This grant should help them become better suited to expand their marketing and sales efforts.”
Glacier Beef, Inc. is a vertically integrated ranch-to-rail beef company dedicated to improving value-added economics to Midwest beef producers via branded products. The company is owned and operated by twenty-three beef producers located in Illinois and Iowa. According to Glacier’s owners, their concept actually surfaced almost ten years ago. Since that time, the group of producers has formally organized and strived to create a set of production standards that will produce a consistent, superior lean beef product.
Glacier Beef producers are using carefully selected genetics and top-notch management to produce a high quality, naturally tender, lean beef product. Not only will this project allow Illinois beef producers involved to produce a quality beef product that can be traceable, they can also produce a lean product consumers desire and capture a greater portion of the retail dollar.
The company currently has a basic web site and brochure; however, in order to gain additional business, they need new advertising materials. The $25,000 grant will help the company develop a new brochure and point of purchase materials, purchase print and radio advertising and help pay for a marketing/promotion/sales assistant. This person will help with the design of the advertising materials, but will also assist in expanding the company's customer base.
Glacier Beef believes the grant will enable them to:
- Expand sales territory and gain additional customers
- Sell 160,000 pounds of Glacier Beef per week
- Capture a greater share of the retail dollar
- Set a standard for a premium, quality beef product
- Will allow the family farmers involved in the project to maintain their beef operations
“We’re appreciative that the Governor recognizes the importance of what we’re trying to do here to promote quality beef products and help small livestock producers,” said Bill Nice, Chief Operating Officer for Glacier. “We hope that in the long run this will help us keep small producers viable and make a significant contribution to the agriculture economy in Illinois.”
The company CEO is Dr. Tom Peters. Their website address is www.glacierbeef.com.