Godshall’s Quality Meats Inc. has announced plans to convert to an employee-owned company. The owners — Mark Godshall, Floyd Kratz and Ron Godshall — said they took this extraordinary step to ensure that the company remains independent and maintains its unique culture.

“It seemed like the next step in our philosophy of treating our employees like family,” Mark Godshall explained. “I don’t think we could hope for a more dedicated, hardworking team … (of) real problem solvers. As Ron, Floyd and I looked forward, we wanted to be prepared for the future, one in which folks didn’t have to worry about ownership by a competitor or outside investors, freeing them to do what they do best.”

Ron Godshall said the move makes each employee an “entrepreneur, of sorts.” “When it’s yours, you do care just a little more, and employees really will benefit from their company’s success,” he said.

Read more: Bacon maker Godshall’s to become employee owned