The Producer Partnership is more than excited to announce plans to open the first non-profit, federally inspected livestock processing facility in Montana.
It will be located 12 miles east of Livingston and able to process up to 300 animals per month when operating at full capacity. The Producer Partnership was organized in April 2020 with the mission of farmers and ranchers working to end hunger in Montana.
To date, the Partnership has donated more than 80,000 pounds of hamburger to the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) to support individuals and families facing food insecurity across the state.
“We could have done twice that number if we could have booked more slots with one of the five federal processing facilities in the state. From day one, it has been an uphill battle processing donated cull animals,” Producer Partnership Founder and President Matt Pierson said. “You know, every step of the way that we’ve taken, this whole project has been a milestone and the first of its kind. This is just the next step in the evolution of being able to control our own destiny.”
In March, Friesla (a Washington-state-based company) was contracted to build the modular processing facility. These units operate at half the cost of the traditional brick and mortar facilities and are significantly less expensive to build.
“We’re honored to support Producer Partnership’s mission of working to end hunger in Montana,” Friesla Founder and President Bob Lodder said.
The total investment when the Partnership’s doors open is projected to be around $2.5 million.
“Last year, we turned away more live animals than I’d like to admit because we couldn’t find and kill and process date, so we were forced to go out of state and work with Yellowstone River Beef in North Dakota,” Pierson said. “I knew we needed something of our own to reduce processing fees, insure we could process animals on demand, and if we truly want to end hunger in Montana, at least with hamburger, we needed our own processing plant.”
Lodder added to Pierson’s statement, and explained the basics of the unit to be constructed for the Producer Partnership.