Member Feature: CS Beef Packers


Founded on a handshake, CS Beef Packers is a collaborative effort between two companies prominent in the beef industry, Texas-based Caviness Beef Packers and the J.R. Simplot Company, headquartered in Boise.  They saw great opportunity in combining the core competencies of each organization, Simplot’s extensive investment in livestock operations, and the progressive beef processing and packing expertise of the Caviness family.

Family-owned and privately held for decades, the two companies have similar roots and a history of growth. Grandpa Caviness got his start in 1962, harvesting just a handful of cattle each day and today his family-operated company processes almost 3,000 head of cattle daily. Fourteen-year-old J.R. Simplot started a one-man farming operation in the late 1920s and today the company bearing his name employs 13,000 worldwide. 

Both companies place a high priority on innovation which is why in 2015, work began on the most modern, state-of-the-art beef processing plant in Idaho.  In May of 2017, construction was completed, and operations commenced in the newest beef processing plant in the western U.S. Located twelve miles south of Boise and just 45 miles from Simplot’s largest cattle operation, the facility harvests and processes 1,400-1,800 cows a day supplying the intermountain west with large scale beef production for supermarkets and premium beef for fine dining.

Both organizations operate with integrity — respecting the resources they use. As a result, CS Beef Packers takes pride in being good cattle stewards by competently and consistently producing quality beef products that are derived from humanely handled livestock. Their focus on maintaining a facility that exceeds the highest humane livestock handling standards led them to deploy the latest designs in their Livestock Handling area from renowned Colorado State University animal behaviorist and scientist, Dr. Temple Grandin, as well as rigorous protocols and training for all employees handling livestock.

80-85% of the livestock processed at the CS Beef Packers facility are cull cows and bulls who have outlived their usefulness as dairy or calf producers.  All cattle must pass an inspection prior to harvest to ensure any sick or diseased cattle are prevented from entering the human food supply. A plethora of on-site quality control procedures include a multi-step system of E. coli intervention and constant USDA monitoring and carcass testing.

An extremely long hallway separates the offices, meeting rooms and training rooms from the meat processing floor. Large windows have been placed along the hallway to give visitors a look into the beef harvesting and packing process. Clean and well-lit, the facility is a testament to the company’s focus of maintaining an environment for producing beef that exceeds the highest food safety standards in the industry.

Like its founding companies, CS Beef nurtures a culture that cares about people – their 700 employees, their customers, and their communities.  As plant manager Steve Cherry put it, “we are in the people business, beef is what we do.”  They partner with the Idaho Department of Corrections to give Idaho prison inmates work opportunities and the job skills necessary for reentry to the workforce once they are released. Commitment to their community is the reason CS Beef joined Idaho Manufacturing Alliance, to meet the community and give back to the manufacturing industry in the state they call home.

An obvious fan of the football team nicknamed after the Green Bay meat packing company that financed the start of the club, plant manager Steve Cherry’s office is adorned with lots of Packers’ memorabilia.  A famous quote by Coach Vince Lombardi who led the team to five championships in seven years sums up the overall mindset at CS Beef Packers.  Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.

To learn more, visit CS Beef Packers online at