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Grandstaff Rendering





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Source: News-Journal, August 16, 1973, Centennial Section, Ad:

We Didn't Invent RECYCLING...

BUT WE DO HAVE 4 GENERATIONS OF EXPERIENCE IN RECYCLING ANIMAL FAT AND PROTEIN.
WE GET OUR RAW MATERIAL BY PROVIDING REGULAR PICK-UP SERVICE TO RESTAURANTS, SLAUGHTER HOUSES, GROCERIES, POULTRY PROCESSORS, AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS. EACH YEAR WE RECYCLE MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF THIS "WASTE" MATERIAL INTO USEFUL CONSUMER PRODUCTS.

EVERYONE KNOWS THAT RENDERER-RECYCLED PRODUCTS ARE USED IN SOAP AND IN ANIMAL AND PET FOODS. BUD DID YOU KNOW THAT RENDERER PRODUCTS ARE ALSO USED TO PRODUCE BIODEGRADABLE DETERGENTS, PLASTICS, COSMETICS, PAINTS, CONCRETE ADDITIVES, LUBRICANTS, AND A HOST OF OTHER ITEMS THAT EACH OF US USE EVERY DAY?

OUR SERVICES BENEFIT THE GENERAL ECONOMY BY ABSORBING SOME OF THE COST OF MEAT PRODUCTS. SINCE ONLY 40 PERCENT OF AN AVERAGE STEER REACHES YOUR TABLE, MEAT COSTS WOULD BE EVEN HIGHER IF WE DIDN'T RECYCLE THE REMAINING 60 PERCENT OF INEDIBLE BY-PRODUCTS.

WE CONTRIBUTE TO PUBLIC HEALTH BY DISPOSING OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF MATERIAL WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE BE LEFT TO BREED GERMS AND DISEASE.

AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT, WE ARE FRONTRUNNERS IN THE BATTLE TO PRESERVE OUR ECOLOGY BY THE RECYCLING OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES.

THE FIRST RENDERING OPERATION ON THIS SITE WAS BUILT IN 1913 BY GEORGE MANN. OREN GRANDSTAFF, SR. LEARNED THE BUSINESS FROM HIS FATHER-IN-LAW, GUSTAV BECKER, A HOOSIER RENDERING PIONEER, AND PURCHASED THE NORTH MANCHESTER FACILITY IN 1917. CURRENT OWNERS PAUL AND DAVID GRANDSTAFF ARE THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION RECYLERS.

WE'RE ONE OF ELEVEN SURVIVING INDIANA RENDERING FIRMS OUT OF MORE THAN 100 OPERATIONS SOME YEARS AGO. WE'VE COME THROUGH THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND A CATASTROPIC FIRE WITHOUT MISSING A PAYROLL AND WITHOUT A LAYOFF.

AS MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL RENDERERS ASSOCIATION, WE PAY OUR SHARE OF THE COSTS OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEW PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGY TO HELP ASSURE A SOUND FUTURE FOR THE INDUSTRY.

WE'RE PROUD OF OUR RECORD. WE'RE PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE.

GRANDSTAFF RENDERING SERVICE INC.

Professionals in Recycling For Four Generations
North Manchester, Indiana

Source: NMHS Newsletter Nov 1993

Grandstaff Rendering

presented to the North Manchester Historical Society June 8, 1992 by David Grandstaff

In 1917 my grandfather, Orin Grandstaff, established the business. He bought rendering businesses for seven sons. Of those original plants scattered around Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, we are the last of the remaining independent family operation plants still in operation. And, we are one of six surviving Hoosier renderers out of more than 100 such operations at the turn of the century. So we have seen a lot of consolidation. In fact, as I thought about it, even at our small size we have incorporated and consolidated two other operators in our district. We bought a plant that closed at Warsaw, Indiana a long time before I remember-up near Whitehead farms. We also purchased and consolidated the plant that used to operate at Huntington. So we've been a part of that consolidation. We're a small survivor.

The rendering industry, if you are not aware, is the recycling link with the food chain. Offal-slaughter plants-fat and bone trimmings in grocery stores-waste scraps from restaurants-the kitchen here at Manchester College in fact. Dead animals collected and recycled into products you come in contact with every day in your life.

The process is really one of reduction. We do on a grand scale what you do at home-we cook this inedible meat and fat product together, we grind in into course hamburger-1 1/2" particle size diameter and cook it in sterilizing temperature so the moisture is completely removed. Then we separate it by pressure, by squeezing and pressing, into its liquid and fat component or solid meat and bone meal component-continuous reprocess.

The high protein section, dry section, is an ingredient in poultry rations, hog rations, and now today we're beginning to encapsulate it and feed it to our ruminant animals. One time we thought there was not a market for this product because they couldn't handle it. Now encapsulated, it passes through and also becomes a high energy source for cattle. And if, of course, you have dogs and cats at home, almost every pet food label on the shelf has animal life products. Foods like Alpo start with and never reduce to the moisture level we do.

Inedible fats of not-for-human-consumption fats are used in consumer products ranging from highest quality soap, jet aircraft lubricants, mold releases for tires and cosmetics. That, of course, as I've already mentioned, is a high energy ingredient in many animal food formulations.

We're in fact a very energy intensive process. We burn a lot of oil-we're very sensitive to oil embargoes and Gulf wars and things like that. We process about 2 million pounds a month of otherwise potentially hazardous waste material. We try to be environmentally good neighbors. We process all of our own biodegradable waste water in out on-site discharge waste treatment plant. We employ seven route drivers and seven process employees. Our production manager is John Eaves. My wife and I are the office at 218 East Main Street.

I have tonight a very brief video introducing you to the process.
*****************************************
You seem to be curious about this product. What does it look like? I brought some samples. I'm all right on the meal samples-open, pinch, feel, smell. I might have passed it out earlier but you'd have been nibbling on it all during dinner! I also brought a couple of jars of fat. Unfortunately the jars are a little too big and you can't get a very good indication of what the product looks like so I spooned some into these saucers and I'll pass them. You can see the color and so on. Our fat is a very soft product. Tallow is for the hard white white substance in soap, candles, that sort of use. Ours goes into feed and chemical industry as we've indicated. I'll also pass one of these saucers-I didn't pass that earlier because it looks so much like maple syrup. Doesn't smell like it though.
Questions:
Q: That meal is mixed in with other things to make dog food?
A: Yes, this is a very high protein. It's about a 60% protein product. Actually tests a little higher than 60%-so you would put it in an average hog ration like Bob would have used or any of you. No more than 200 lbs. to a ton of this for a high protein ration along with soy meal, corn or other ingredients.
Q: How near is this to what many of us once referred to as tankage?
A: I thought about that as the video was talking about the marketing of the quality control. That's probably the greatest change that we've seen in our industry. Because I remember days too when an awful lot of our product went out the door to local and area farmers who would drive in and say "I need a couple bags of tankage." To be perfectly honest the product we sell today is not a lot different than what was referred to as tankage. The biggest difference is that we now know-we've been forced to really get a good grip and know nutritionally the composition and each renderer has a little bit different composition of raw materials and so on that goes into the product. Each of us has a different product even though it's the same thing-it's all a little bit different. Survival today means knowing exactly what you've got and exactly what and to whom that product is most valuable, then marketing only to them. Now there's no point trying to sell this product to someone who wants a low grade low protein high calcium kind of meat and bone meal. You might make it in the city where you go after a lot of fats and lots of bones from stores. This product has higher value in other areas so that's what we do and that's how we market it. That's a long round-about answer to your question, but tankage today, there are a lot of technical definitions. Tankage is kind of the lowest of the low grades. Tankage is a combination of about anything that you want to throw in-so our product here is not tankage. I market it under a trade name "PROfile 60"--60% protein content...and I do that for the reason that this product does not fit any of the standard ATPI Trade technical definitions. It fits two of them exactly in the middle so I use a trade name which describes the product which is 70% poultry meal and 30% meat and bone meal.
Q: Is this the same kind of meal that you give to put on your plants-a bone meal?
A: When you buy bone meal you're buying steamed bone meal and that is a product that is generally from whole bone at the slaughter house. And yes, it's processed much, much the same way. But it is processed all by itself.
Q: What is your territory?
A: We cover parts of about 10 counties. As you are aware there's a lot of poultry production in this area and there is also a major slaughter plant that processes the spent fowl when the laying cycle is done. Those hens are slaughtered and the meat still tastes but is a little tough and goes into things like pot pies and Campbell soups, etc.-very tasty meat but not real tender. That's the target of that spent meat, and the offal of that slaughter I process. You are aware also that we have a fairly high concentration of hogs.
Q: Is there a market for hides?
A: There is a market for hide-the market for the rendered hide is very limited any more. There's enough production of slaughter-packer hides that the demand for what is obviously a lower grade hide as I used to produce has gotten to the point where I currently am not even handling any hides.
Q: What do you do with them?
A: They go right in the product.
Q: Unable to hear from tape.
A: As I am aware of the history of the industry there was a very, very short time that it was kinda thrown out-the solid portion was actually discarded, because you were after the fat. That's what the rendering industry grew up on. Think about the related industry-the whaling industry-is really a ship-side rendering industry. I've visited some of the sea port museums and visited a whaling ship. It's a moving rendering plant. They boil it down to get the oil. They're after the oil. The same was true when the rendering industry was begun. We didn't have any outlet for the solids. The whole bone wasn't ground in the early days. It was cooked down in open kettles and the fat was skimmed off. The broth, or whatever, and the bone were thrown out. I'm sure that where it was thrown got pretty doggoned green after a couple of seasons of that. That's the only relationship I know to being called a fertilizer plant. But it's a misnomer that sticks very tightly. You may have seen in the paper two or three weeks ago that there was a chemical fertilizer plant that burned. I got a couple calls from concerned friends from around the northern part of the state, concerned that I'd had another fire.
Q: Unable to hear from tape.
A: Tankage is that product composed of the tissue, bone of carcasses containing not more than normal processing amount-it's a real technical thing-but tankage is a lower grade meat and bone meal usually fortified with blood meal to get the protein level up. I usually contains blood meal and lowest grades of raw material. If I had a sample of tankage with me tonight it would look very much like this product that I have. I would be very much darker in color and the aroma would be more intense.
Feathers are processed separately. We do not process feathers. One of those interesting arrangements that occurs in the development of new business. When a Greek family bought this poultry processing plant over at Mentone, Indiana, nobody in the State of Indiana had any dea what to do with poultry offal. It's tough stuff to handle. It has some really strange characteristics. One of, if not the least troublesome of which, is when you cook it, it boils over like crazy and it foams. The vat just goes wild. It takes some specialized treating-very specialized expensive products from Dow Chemical to keep it from doing that during the processing. Nobody in Indiana-it was just trash-no renderer wanted it. My dad was smart enough to figure out that if he could learn how to cook it, there's probably be a buck in it some day. A neighboring, competing plant, on up the road-most of you all are aware of it unfortunately-got there the same day and so they decided they'd split it up, we'd handle the offal, and they'd handle the feathers. That's been the happiest arrangement I've ever had. The feathers are not only extremely abrasive, they just chew up equipment like crazy. They also, to be properly done, need an entirely different process. To be properly prepared for feed ingredients they need to be hydrolized which is really a pressure cooking kind of operation. If properly done, feather meal if you've seen it is a really beautiful white, fluffy product, great stuff. Improperly done it's about three grades below tankage.
Feather meal runs about 75% protein. Digestibility level is somewhat -we run 90% digestible. I don't think feather meal runs that high digestible. That can vary all over the place, depending on how it's processed. If you throw it in a cooker and cook it conventionally like you would other materials, you don't get a very digestible product. It has to be hydrolized to maintain its amino-acid balance and digestibility.
Q: Does that go into animal feed then?
A: Yes. And more and more research is showing that is one of the benefits of a concentrated species population in this area. More and more we are finding that species recycled species is most effective in gain and use. The amino acid balance of my product comes from primarily poultry and we feed back primarily to poultry because they benefit best from it.
Same goes for hogs. Wilson-their product will be a little better tailored to hog production.
Hoofs-often thought of as being the glue. That's a whole different process. I know of no renderer who is also in glue manufacturing. You can still buy horse hoof glue, and as a historically oriented body you are all familiar I am sure with the glass that was popular (I'm lost, I don't know the time period) glass that has a very crazed, crackly surface finish to it that was manufactured by taking ordinary glass, coating it with horse-hoof glue, and then heating that. As the glue dried, it actually crackled off the surface of the glass. It was a popular decorative glass, I think, at the turn of the century-first 20 years of the century.
I don't know. I've seen it. know for sure what they called it. an art glass form. This is not that. This is a surface that looked more etched than anything else, one side only, like you might have seen in public rest rooms on doors and things like that.
Q: Regarding control
A: We are not federally controlled. We are state regulated in terms of the majority of industrial regulations. We are under Federal guidelines such as OSHA-Occupational Safety and Health. We meet Federal guidelines so far as waste water treatment because Indiana laws are in line with federal. Really under State licensing permitting inspection -I'd say harassment-but it's not too bad if you play the game. If you try to do it right, they recognize that.
Q: Is there any danger that your business will go the way of the tanning industry?
A. The largest renderer in the United States is currently in bankruptcy. I don't know if that's an answer to your question. It bothers me. It really does. There's more to that story obviously than just the fact that a large nation-wide company is actually in bankruptcy proceedings. They tried to lever too much too fast, but in California which is where a lot of our country's business problems seem to originate, the environmental regulators would really like to run the rendering companies completely out of California and they already meet incredibly high standards. They're putting out waste water that's practically ready to drink.
I don't like to be a pessimist but there are already areas in the country where there is no such thing as dead stock removal - nobody left there that will handle that kind of business. So little by little-and it's just been in the last year and half that I finally got tired of trying to fight the tight marketing problems-so little by little there's going to be some segments of that last. It's one industry that's going to supply 20 Empire State Buildings a day of inedible products with values beside the product that cannot be ignored.
Q: Regarding odor.
A: Basically what happens-we are cooking when we boil, the product steams. What carries the aroma is steam. What we do to minimize the conduct of that odor is to get rid of the steam. Immediately when it comes off the cooker we run it through a big cooler and we knock it back down and condense it instantly back to water which we can then treat on site. Water still has that aroma but it doesn't carry.
Every rendering plant in the world along with about every other industry (when the cannery was here in town it was on the river) -everybody uses rivers. We saw at the beginning of the Federal Corps WPES Permit system begun in the 70's we'd have to meet high standards for discharge. We decided it was good because our waste water is very biodegradable. No bad stuff in it-it's just odorous but it can be easily treated. We decided to do it, I think around 1976.
Discussion: There was a time I remember when I was a young boy riding on a truck with my grandfather-my mother's father who worked for us also-operated in Warsaw at the pick-up station. I can remember we'd go to the bank once a week and get a bag of silver dollars. We would give away silver dollars when we picked up a cow or horse. Times they have changed.
Q: How did you get involved?
A: How I got involved? O.K. I was Psychology Major - English Minor at
Wabash College in 1962. I was pretty well unsure what that was leading to, so I was working in Ft. Wayne at State School for Mentally Retarded-practical experience in the field of Psychology to see if there was anything there that I really wanted to go to work at. During the Sectional Basketball Tourney, February 22, 1962, a few things occurred to people in this community. George Scheerer who was at Wittenberg University tripped and fell through a glass door, almost bled to death, and bears the scars. Maybe you weren't aware of that but George bears the scars of falling through that glass door that night. My father got called out of the basketball game to tell him that the plant out there was on fire. It wasn't on fire-it was all over fire. You can imagine a lot of old wood around, all that high grade fat not only in tanks but also soaked into that wood over the years. It did not take very long to completely melt down to scrap heap and so next day Jane and I said "Well maybe we'd better go back. It will be kind of a tough time for Dad." We went back to help out for awhile. I wasn't doing anything terribly important. School would wait -- go back and help Dad out to get this thing going again and we'd be on our way. I guess we're on our way!
We have a National Association. We fund a protein research foundation. Through that we support numerous research projects-pretty big bucks go into that. A really small operation like myself never could afford research. I don't even have lab facilities. I get all my testing done in outside laboratories. In much less time the research is done. Small guys really benefit by hanging together. By joining the National Association I benefit by the big companies' funding of research projects. They have an extensive and ongoing research program.
Q: I assume the plant at Plymouth is still operating? They do essentially the same as you do?
A: Yes they do. They don't do it nearly as well, I like to think. They're not only-I want to be a little careful-they have been very helpful to me in times of need-so they are not bad people. But man, they're sloppy operators. They are a disgrace to the industry. They are an embarrassment to the State of Indiana and they are royal thorns in the side of the lady who is the head of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. She would love to put them out of business. The problem with that is her approach would be to put all the rest of us out of business first. It's always a challenge.
Observation: It's really an industry we can't do without.
A: It is! As to recycling, we've been at it a long, long time.
We are a maintenance level. It is a very difficult-naturally I'll, when you open up the hotel, I'll be on your doors with my business card-take care of your waste-fryer fat, if you have deep fat fryers in operation. But new business in this area in terms of processing of major kind, it doesn't come along. Economics of going out to compete with an operation that's in 12 states, does not make much sense. If I behave myself they allow me to keep operating. If I get smart, they are capitalized to the point that they could come in and buy every account I have and I'm done tomorrow. That's the reality of being very small.

Thank you! You had a lot of very fascinating questions.