Jones Country Meats is grand marshal

Published 7:14 pm Friday, November 13, 2009

Personnel of Jones Country Meats, a 29-year Climax family business, will be grand marshals of the 35th annual Swine Time Festival Parade on Nov. 28 in Climax.

In 1980, Randall Jones and Sue Baggett, grandchildren of H.L. Jones, and Sue’s husband, Jerry Baggett Sr. opened the meat processing company.

The beginning of an idea of a meat processing company began with H.L. Jones. It continued with Randall’s father, L.D. Jones.

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Jones family history has it that Grandpa H.L. Jones had around 40 head of hogs in those days. A packing company in Moultrie came by and priced them, but the price was so low that he contacted the county agent and asked about building a cooler.

He began killing and curing meat on the farm and keeping it in the newly built cooler.

Randall, who is a member of the Decatur County Board of Education, was raised on the farm where the business now sits, and Jerry was raised just north of Whigham.

“We have always worked with our families,” Randall said. “We loved the idea of being at home and working here.”

The family tradition continues today.

Jerry Baggett Jr. and son-in-law Jeff Windham are carrying on as did their father and father-in-law before them.

The company upgraded five different times, the final time due to the four laning of U.S. 84. The first building in 1980 was only a small office and a dressing or cutting room. They now process all types of meat from deer to beef and pork. They have high quality meats that they sell to the public and to retailers.

“We will not sell anything we do not eat ourselves,” Randall said.