CN-RP-1-Adams farm 1ATHOL, MA — In front of over 250 livestock farmers, processors, educators and consumers, Beverly (Adams) Mundell was awarded an inscribed meat cleaver and named as Processor of the Year at the Meat Ball on Friday, March 22. The standing ovation that Mundell received showed the respect of the livestock industry in New England has for her dedication to providing high quality services to New England farmers and consumers.
“I was overwhelmed but very humbled at receiving the award,” said Beverly. “To be recognized by my peers, customers and friends for the work I do every day is truly wonderful. I could not have done any of this without the support of Noreen, Rick and the members of my family.”
Presenting the award was New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture Lorraine Merrill at the conference’s banquet on the first evening of the 2013 New England Meat Conference. Commissioner Merrill praised the perseverance, strength and good humor that Beverly has shown over the years and recognized her many achievements.
Beverly Mundell was born in Maine and moved to Athol, MA in 1955 to marry her first husband Lewis Adams, son of Hester Adams who purchased the farm in 1919. Lewis Adams started the family’s first slaughterhouse in 1946, and Beverly became his business partner when they married. While her initial responsibility was for scheduling and bookkeeping, Beverly soon had in-depth knowledge and experience from the first step the animal takes entering the holding area to the end of processing, for custom work to retail sales and wholesale market.
In 1969, the family began the process of upgrading their facility to meet USDA standards and in 1972 the Adams family opened a new slaughterhouse to meet the revised USDA standards. Just one year later, upon the untimely and unexpected death of her husband in 1973, Beverly, at the age of 36, took over management of the farm and slaughterhouse. She became responsible for not only running the family business and farm but also for buying livestock, dealing with equipment salesmen, working with USDA FSIS, and all aspects of running a small business. She boasts that she is proficient in every aspect of the business, except the actual killing.
In an industry dominated by men, Beverly was able to support her business and her family and allow them both to thrive. Two of her five children, Noreen and Rick, decided to work full-time at the slaughterhouse and in keeping with family tradition, this multi-generational business now boasts three of Beverly’s grandchildren in positions of responsibility: Sydney, Chelsea and Melissa.
In 2006, just a few days before Christmas, the Adams Farm Slaughterhouse was completely destroyed by fire. Immediately and without hesitation, Beverly led the business and her family through the project of rebuilding a new facility that was triple the size of their old building. She took on this challenge when others may have decided it was too daunting a task, instead participating in every level of the financing, rebuilding and start-up process, because she knew that the slaughterhouse was a vital link in the survival of the New England livestock industry.
When most would be thinking of retirement, Beverly is at the facility every day to provide the wider, forward-looking vision necessary for a thriving business and has been instrumental in the establishing 15 acres of solar panels, establishing a solar powered hot water system and empowering family members to stretch themselves to new level of achievement.
Beverly is a leader who knows her business, understands the industry, acknowledges the challenges, and always shows up to work with a kind word and a good sense of humor. Her commitment to family, to being a strong and fair leader of the family business and to the livestock industry in New England has been evident not by long speeches or a large salary but by her actions in everything she has done and continues to do.
The New England Meat Conference was held at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. Over 300 people attended the 26 educational sessions and the celebratory Meat Ball. The goal of the New England Meat Conference was to enhance the production, processing, and marketing of sustainable, nutritious, humanely-raised, and delicious meat from New England farms by providing educational and networking opportunities for meat producers, processors and consumers. As the first conference ever to focus specifically on meat production in New England, it brought together those involved in meat production from field to table, including farmers, processors, distributors, chefs, technical assistance providers, members of the state and federal governments, and many others. A meat industry tradeshow took place on both days and featured innovative products and services to improve attendees’ manufacturing processes from ingredients to packaging, and scales to labeling equipment. The tradeshow attracted national suppliers of new products and technologies that may be adopted by local farmers and processors, as well as service providers who can provide support for these growing businesses.
For more information please contact Ed Maltby at 413-427-7323 or