“Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” You’ve probably heard this a time or two, right? This slogan has been heard all over America since 1992, but rings especially true here in Small Town, America. Wiley Processing, LLC is a family-owned business right here in the heart of the plains. “We sit in the Southeastern portion of Colorado where farming and ranching are main means of survival,” explained Josh and Jana Weimer, owners of the operation. The significant shortage of beef processing plants has fueled their desire to own and operate Wiley Processing, LLC in September of 2021. “In the past we have processed anything from lambs to goats, sheep to rabbits, and we’ve even processed some yaks! Our focus now has been on beef and hogs,” stated Josh.
At Wiley Processing, they can custom process animals to the customer’s wants and needs. “If they want all hamburger, we will get them all hamburger. If they want steaks, we get them steaks. It’s really about what the customer wants,” stated Jana. Wiley Processing became USDA Certified on March 20th and is now able to sell individual cuts at a very reasonable price. They are also in the process of becoming certified for individual retail sales of hogs and are wrapping up the process of being able to accept EBT Cards as well. Currently, they offer a variety of cuts such as chuck center roast, chuck steaks, ribeye roast bone-in, ribeye steak bone-in, back ribs, ribeye steak boneless, brisket flat, brisket point, skirt steak, porter house steak, T-bone steak, boneless strip steak, tenderloin steak, flank steak, top sirloin steak, tri-tip sirloin, petite sirloin steak, top round steak, bottom round rump roast, eye of the round roast, London broil, ground beef, cubed steak, and have six different gourmet hamburger patties. The gourmet hamburger patty flavors are pepper jack jalapeno, green chile, hatch green chile cheddar, garlic and onion, and jalapeno popper and mozzarella. Is your mouth watering yet? Wiley Processing dry ages their meat for fourteen days then places it in their freezers for selling, however they do have the ability to dry age meat for up to thirty days if you want a more flavorful product. Not only do they provide wonderful-tasting food, but they also provide top-of-the-line customer service. You are greeted as soon as you walk through the door, and once the customer pays, the entire staff pauses their work, grabs up their bags of product, wheels the product to the vehicle, and then loads their vehicle for them. That is what you call service! Not only do they provide this service locally, they transport box trucks to three different locations through the month to disperse meat to other communities as well.
“We love to offer services for our local ranchers. We provide a good source, and high-quality beef products at Wiley Processing,” explained the Weimers. Currently, most of the animals they are processing are raised and located in about a twenty-mile radius, which covers areas in Kiowa, Bent, and Prowers County. Community is extremely important to Josh and Jana. “Working for this small family-owned business has given not only me, but others in the community steady work and helped support local events. Our customer base is vast and being able to accommodate all customers has given the customers fresher, home-grown products, and a plethora of choices rather than big name chain stores. Being a part of something that contributes so much is a good feeling!” stated Paige Lindo, a Wiley Processing employee. Not only are they feeding locally raised beef to their community but between the two of them, they sit on the Sand and Sage Fair Board, Wiley School Board, FSA County Committee, Eads Co-Op Board, lead a 4-H Group, and coach Rec Football and Baseball. Wiley Processing participates in the 4-H Livestock Sale during the Sand and Sage Fair, gave hayrides during Christmas time last year, and provided a pumpkin patch with their own home-grown pumpkins for some of the local children. They have also paired up with one of the instructors at Lamar Community College to allow students to come out to their facility to further enhance their hands on studies. Last, but most important of all, they have provided sixteen employment opportunities for citizens in our community. Those jobs are made up of deboning, trimming, slaughtering, managing the employees, packing, labeling, weight management, payroll, cleaning, and plant management. “Family is important to us. If you coach, or your kids have ball games, or you have important events you need to be at, you go. That’s what is important!” stated Jana. At Wiley Processing they provide careers, not just jobs. “They take care of me like I’m their own. They will go out of their way to do anything for me and never ask for anything in return. I’m very blessed to have them in my life!” explained Colton Reed, a Wiley Processing Employee.
One of the largest assets of Wiley Processing is the start to finish product. Wiley Processing teams up Wiley Ranch Beef to bring their own animals into the processing plant. “It’s so unique to be able to feed the cattle your crops that you have grown, watching them grow up in front of you, then processing your own animal. You know exactly what they’ve eaten, and how they’ve grown. It’s a start to finish process. We pride ourselves in having complete control of the entire production process to ensure we deliver the highest quality products to our customers,” stated Josh. These products can be found in their facility on hand and ready to go, and you can hand pick the exact steak that you prefer. It can’t get much more customizable! They have online ordering available where you can choose a time that is convenient for you to order and pick up. That’s convenient! They also post Special Bundles with amazing deals on their Facebook Page. Keep your eyes open, because those sell out quick!
Here in the heart of Prowers County, Josh and Jana know how important beef really is! Is all this talk about beef making you hungry? Make sure you check out Wiley Processing and all the tasty products they have to offer. Wiley Processing and Prowers County truly believe, “Beef, it’s STILL what’s for dinner!”
“Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot,” sings Gary Portnoy. Some days really do take everything you’ve got, so why not head down to Brew Unto Others where they can give you a break from all your worries with just one cup of coffee. Their Mission is to serve one another with Excellence & Integrity; Loving Each Other as Christ Loves us, offering a place of Hope, Peace & Unconditional Love for the Community to come together.
At The Brew you can get your coffee completely personalized, and the exact way YOU like it. There are numerous flavors including sugar free options to choose from, to create any combination you could possibly think of. Don’t like coffee? Don’t worry, they’ve also got teas, lemonades, and Italian sodas. Not only does Brew Unto Others serve beverages, but they also sell a variety of lunch and breakfast items baked from scratch. From breakfast burritos to cinnamon rolls, there are plenty of baked goods, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches to give you the fuel you need to get through your morning. The Brew serves a selection of specialty salads, gourmet sandwiches, wrap options, seasonal soups, and offers keto options in most of the menu items for a healthier appetite. Brew Unto Others really is providing a three-course meal by restarting the Brew Bundle in May, where you can purchase a meal to take home for dinner. This puts a whole new spin on ‘it’s my turn to cook dinner.’
The Brew is there to be present, to be seen, and to make a difference. “My dad has always told me if you want to make a difference, you have to get involved!” Explained manager Tera Bender. Brew Unto Others holds vendor markets throughout the year where they invite small businesses to come down and set up shop in their facility for the day and tries to bring everyone downtown to shop. They also host events to bring awareness to the community such as the most recent seizure training, and breast cancer awareness training. The Brew provides a facility for meetings, a venue for small gatherings, and does specialized catering for the community. They partner with many local groups, schools, programs, and have also provided Prowers Economic Prosperity with a place to host Brewing for Business.
The Brew staff is made up of six baristas, including Tera. “I have my crew who do an amazing job on the drinks, Hannah, and Alyssa. Haley and Hollie are the food professionals and take over the kitchen to provide yummy food to our customers. Lillie and Ateshia have the front-line customer service down and are fantastic with customers. Then Denisha, she is my go-to!” summed up Tera. A portion of the tips these baristas collect are donated to a local non-profit in our community that The Brew is passionate about, now those are some top-quality people. “We strive for top-quality customer service and top-quality products!”
“Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. And they are always glad you came,” as the Cheers theme song says. “Not only do we serve a great cup of coffee, WE know your name, and you ARE family to us,” explained Tera. “Brew Unto Others loves our community, and we love to serve each and every one of our customers!” Make sure you stop into Brew Unto Others, where everyone knows your name, and grab your coffee, breakfast, or lunch item just the way you like it.
“The average man owns twelve pairs of shoes, while the average woman owns a whopping twenty-seven pairs. That would make the national average about nineteen pairs per person.” According to New Dream. With a population of almost 12,000 in Prowers County, that would make the number of shoes sold roughly at about 228,000. Now that is a considerable number of shoes for one store to manage! Since 1961, J&N Shoes has been the shoe supplier for Southeast Colorado. Being one of the only independent shoe stores for miles away, J&N is a rare diamond.
In 1984 Jennifer Steward was attending college in Lamar, when Dave Riddle had reached out to her business teacher (Sue Root) and mentioned needing some help at the store. He wanted the teacher to recommend one student in the business class who she thought would be a good fit for this position. This teacher approached Jennifer and she thought this would be a good side job, and continued to work towards her education when finally, she decided to give J&N a chance to be her future. “There was an opportunity given, and I decided to take it. I didn’t know at the time this was exactly what I needed. It’s like it was meant to be!” mentioned Jennifer. In 1992 Jennifer and her husband Jerry purchased 25% of the stock in J&N Shoes, then in 2006 they purchased the rest of the stock and have been sole owners since then.
In 1992 J&N Shoes expanded by cutting a hole in the north wall and launching their sporting goods store, Mr. D’s Sports, and started carrying athletic shoes apparel and sports items. Different from Big 5, Hibbett Sports, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, J&N/Mr. D’s is a sit and fit shoe store that’s invested in their community! Their customers are not only friends, but family. “You get to hear the customer’s stories, you hear them talk about their family, their troubles and you hear them talk about why they choose the shoes they do. When most customers walk through the door you already know what size shoe they wear and what styles they prefer,” stated Jennifer. Being a lifelong Prowers County resident, Jennifer and her staff know what know what sports are being played by the season it is, and they can generally tell you what you will need for that sport. J&N Shoes is there to serve their customers and therefore they listen to what the customers want and try to supply that need.
In addition to shoes and sports apparel, J&N also does customized screen printing and tuxedo rental. Not only does J&N provide rentals to eleven different schools during prom time, but they also provide tuxedos for weddings and special occasions throughout the rest of the year. J&N Shoes currently employes a screen printer who can create personalized designs and products like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and much more for schools, family reunions, teams or anything you would like. Give them your idea and they can print it for you. They employ four salespersons, two who works five days a week, and three part time employees who assist in helping with trying on apparel, retrieving products that are needed for the customer, stocking the shelves, sizing the individuals for rentals, answering phones, conducting the sales, and changing displays and front window dressings. Along with these five employees is Jennifer. She works the floor, as well as does all the behind the scenes work at J&N. “It is more than selling shoes for me. My whole life, 39 years of it has been spent here serving people. It’s taken years, and lots of hard work but it’s worth every second of it! I really care about people and our community!" stated Steward.
From Under Armor to Adidas, Hey Dude to Ugg, Redwing Boots and countless other brands, J&N Shoes/Mr. D’s staff is here to serve your needs for footwear, sports items, sports apparel, tuxedo rentals and screen-printing. "We care about our community and the people who live here. We appreciate their business, and we wouldn’t be here without them!” Make sure you stop in and see Jennifer and her staff at J&N Shoes/Mr. D’s they would love to see you!
From the Owner Jennifer Steward: I want everyone in this community to know that I truly appreciate all of their support for the last 39 years! I want you to know you are important, and are the reason J&N Shoes has been here since 1961... You want us here and support this business so that we can be here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
Do you want to feel the outdoor experience of Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s without leaving Lamar, Colorado? Look no further! Lamar Outdoor Sports, formerly known as Mike’s Main Street Sports, is now officially open for business. The new owners, Todd and Sarah Horning moved to Lamar about five years ago and have provided numerous business ventures to our area. Lamar Outdoor Sports specializes in firearms, ammunition, firearm accessories, along with powersport parts and accessories.
You know that new gun you have been dreaming about? Todd can provide a higher level of customer service to make sure he can find exactly what you are looking for. When you go the city, you might not always get the expertise or purchasing experience you deserve, but Lamar Outdoor Sports will spend the time with the customer to make sure they get the best customer service possible. Todd and Sarah take their time with each customer to make sure their questions are answered, and their problems are resolved, so they know when the customer walks out the door that their needs were fulfilled.
With new ownership, comes new changes! Lamar Outdoor Sports has begun to increase their inventory, along with adding some unique items to their store front. Not only have they added items, but they are also acquiring a new facility to give their business a whole new look. They are making big investments into our 2nd Amendment right, as well as big investments into our community as well. Lamar Outdoor Sports’ philosophy is always doing what is best for the people. “Whatever you do, you have to keep what’s best for the people and community first!” Todd explained. Todd and Sarah work to build the relationship with the customer first because they themselves understand how important it is to have a specialized experience.
Additionally, they also understand how important outdoor recreation is in an area such as Lamar. Firearms not only provide pest control to farmers and ranchers, but they also provide great family sporting events. You always hear people say, “There’s nothing to do here...” Have you ever thought about shooting sports? For those who do not know, shooting sports are groups of recreational and competitive sporting activities that are judged by your accuracy, your speed, and your precision with certain weapons. Shooting sports is a great 4-H activity for people of all ages.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) provide great outdoor recreation, and many benefits to our rural area. You may be a motocross rider or a farmer who is simply herding their animals, either way ATVs play a huge part in your role. Do you know where your local powersports dealer is? Right in the heart of Lamar! Lamar Outdoor Sports offers powersports as well as parts and accessories for your outdoor toys. Todd has been in the outdoor recreation atmosphere most of his life, so he has special expertise when it comes to powersports.
To conclude, Todd and Sarah are extremely excited to start their newest business in Lamar, and we are very excited to have Lamar Outdoor Sports in the heart of downtown Lamar. Keep your eyes open for new and exciting things coming to Lamar Outdoor Sports!
“We hope you will stop by and check us out!” – Lamar Outdoor Sports
“The sunflower is one of the most easily recognizable flowers in our world. One of the unique characteristics of these flowers is that they turn their face to the sun, and the sunflower blossoms in the sun’s rays. Sunflowers stand tall, plain, honest, and upright.”
Tall, plain, honest, and upright… just like the business ethics and morals of Colorado Mills! Colorado Mills started in 1999, and now in 2023 has around sixty employees. From sunup to sundown these employees work seven days a week to produce sunflower oil and sunflower meal that is the main ingredient in numerous forms of livestock feeds. At the Mill, sunflower seeds go through a complete start to finish process. The seed starts from your local sunflower farmer, then go through the process of extracting the sunflower oil from the seed. The oil is then refined to reach the finished product that you might just see in your kitchen.
Did you know that 75-80% of the crops Colorado Mills uses in their mill comes from local farmers? This provides diversity for the area farmers, gives them more stability knowing Colorado Mills will purchase their crops, and provides better pricing for the farmers. Sunflowers, being the main crop purchased by Colorado Mills, are a unique commodity for foods and use limited water to grow. While sunflowers are a simple crop to grow, there also come challenges. This is where Kent Wollert, Rick Robbins and Kevin Swanson are great attributes to Colorado Mills. Rick, Kent, and Kevin have done their research on sunflowers and provide education back to farmers on how to properly cultivate and harvest sunflowers along with advancing education on future sunflower farming practices.
Community Involvement is a huge philosophy for Colorado Mills. They have hosted a Beef Day for the FFA and 4H groups in the area to explain their carcass results to them. This in turn teaches the kids how their animals are graded, along with providing information to these kids about what to feed their animals, and how to receive grade A results. In addition to working with local 4-H groups, Colorado Mills also works with Lamar Community College and West Texas A &M in their technical and equine programs. Not only does Colorado Mills work with kids but they also work with 150+ farms and 600+ ranches. And in addition, Colorado Mills is very active with Economic Development groups in Prowers, Baca, Bent, and Kiowa Counties. Rick and Kent also sit on multiple boards and participate in multiple meetings throughout the entire community.
“Colorado Mills is just as committed to the community as they are to being profitable in their own business.” Explained Wollert. “We are here to provide a career, not just a job.” They are here to promote this area and keep growing their business, deepen the labor pool, and to provide opportunities for more and more to happen in our little community. “Yes, expansion is the idea. That’s where we are headed. We are starting to see more demand, and without expansion we may not be able to meet that demand.” Concluded Wollert and Robbins.
Colorado Mills has received numerous awards from Colorado Companies to Watch, to Colorado Biz Magazine, to receiving recognition from the County Commissioners, and I’m sure there will be many more to come. Colorado Mills has been a huge asset to our community as well as to the surrounding counties. Colorado Mill stands tall, does business that is plain and simple for its customers, they are as honest as they come, and they are moving forward and upright.