The New Way to Process Meat

There is a new way to process and sell meat products, and Havre’s new meat processing cooperative is making it more possible.

Instead of a producer selling their animals off into a processing system to eventually have their meat arrive for sale at some unknown grocery store, local Montana ranchers are striving with the help of the new processing plant to bring their beef products direct to consumers.

Ben Peterson of E.L. Peterson ranch explains how selling direct to consumer can improve the margins of his cattle business.

“Roughly a ten-dollar steak, the amount of money that comes back to the producer is about $2.75. If we are able to sell direct to the consumer, we take out the buyer, the feed lot, the buyer between the feed lot and the packer, and the grocery store, and everybody else. All those people that were taking a piece of that money goes away. So that ten-dollar steak instead of paying ten dollars maybe you pay seven bucks and instead of me making $2.75 I make five bucks. It makes a huge difference.” – Ben Peterson

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