“A loss for the whole community”
Following in his father’s footsteps in the meat processing business, Scott Bittner owned and operated the Eureka Locker in downstate Eureka, Illinois. Scott, who found success by converting the meat processing and retail shop into Illinois’ only organic red meat processing facility, died Monday night with six others in a plane crash outside of Bloomington, Illinois.
Bittner’s Eureka Locker originally opened in 1942 and Scott bought into the business in 1994. In 2004, Land Connection founder Terra Brockman and Central Illinois Farmer Marilyn Wettstein worked with Scott, and Bittner’s became the first (and still only) certified organic meat processor in Illinois. Scott worked with local Central Illinois farmers to process and provide organic meat to a growing market for this product.The work that he did was much appreciated by the local farming community who provide their customers with organic meat products through CSAs and other outlets. According to Brockman “Eureka Locker was a crucial piece of our local food infrastructure.”
A Chicago Tribune article on the plane crash quoted Scott’s employee, Terry Wertz: “He was a great guy, do anything for you.” “Great to work for. He always told me, ‘You don’t work for me, you work with me.’ He’s always been good to me, a heart of gold. All he’s done for me.” Terra Brockman added “His death is a terrible tragedy — for his family most of all — but also for the whole community.”
Scott was a resident of Towanda, Illinois. He was 42 years old and left a wife, Carrie, and two children.