From left: Hagerman Mayor Cliff Waide, Hagerman Town Councilor Connie Andrews, and Ellen Robey and Rick Robey, of FatMan’s Beef Jerky, cut the ribbon on FatMan’s new facility, Wednesday. (Amy Vogelsang Photo)
After more than six years, FatMan’s Beef Jerky finally cut the ribbon Wednesday for its newest facility in Hagerman’s Industrial Park.
Owner Rick Robey said the efforts of many organizations helped to make the 6,000-square-foot facility possible. The project broke ground three years ago, but the facility’s realization has been more than six years in the making.
The project received funding from various state, federal and local agencies, such as the U.S. [auth] Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Economic Development Department, the New Mexico Finance Authority and New Mexico’s Legislative Capital Outlay Program.
Cliff Waide, mayor of Hagerman, thanked Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell and former legislators Tim Jennings and Keith Gardner for their help in securing funding.
“It’s been a community effort,” Waide said. “We’re very fortunate.”
Robey also thanked Hubert Quintana, director of the Southeastern New Mexico Economic Development District, who, he said “really spearheaded” the project.
Quintana said the facility has been a great project and that he looks forward to seeing it expand even more. He also hopes to see more tenants come to the Industrial Park and fill what is left of its 80 acres.
Robey offered visitors a tour of the facility, which features high ceilings, to help reduce moisture in the facility, coolers that keep meat stored at 40 degrees and ovens that cook it at 158 degrees. There also is an inspector from the USDA on site everyday.
The facility was designed to produce a lot of jerky, Robey said, and it can process at least 700 pounds of raw beef daily. He also hopes to employ 25 workers.
Robey and his wife Ellen started the business seven years ago in Roswell, and now ship their jerky, available in more than 13 savory and mouth-watering flavors, to all 50 states.
After the tour, Rick and Ellen allowed visitors to sample their latest flavor maple brown sugar.
The event drew officials and business leaders from local and state organizations and featured music from the Hagerman High School band. Members of the Roswell Red Coats held a green ribbon for the Robeys and Waide to cut.
Wade Jackson, general counsel for the state’s Economic Development Department, said FatMan’s Beef Jerky is “a home-grown New Mexico business.”
“It’s a real success story,” he said.