“A loss for the whole community”

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April 8, 2015 at 11:04 am

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.

Scott Bittner

Scott Bittner

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.”

Scott Bittner cutting beef at Bittner's Eureka Locker in Eureka, Illinois Photo: The Pantagraph

Scott Bittner cutting beef at Bittner’s Eureka Locker in Eureka, Illinois Photo: The Pantagraph

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.

A 2012 Local Beet article about Scott can be found here

Chicago Tribune article about the crash

 

 

Bittner's Logo

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One Comment

  1. DAVID E JANIK says:

    My heart goes out to Scott’s family in this time of sadness. I have been in the meat business for 20 years and it does not matter where we are all located. In this profession if your in the same business’s we look after each other and fill like family. Sad to see this Loss to the family.

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