Bozeman Non Profit Conducting Study For Meat Packing Plant - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Bozeman Non Profit Conducting Study For Meat Packing Plant

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BUTTE -

Right now Montana beef, lamb and bison has to be sent out of state to be slaughtered.

That's because there is no meat processing plant in Montana.

But that may change soon.

One Montana, a Bozeman based non-profit, is conducting a feasibility study to see if a meat processing plant would do well in the treasure state.

Program Manager Matt Bitz said opening a processing plant in Montana makes sense.

"We have a great herd of beef, we've got a great herd of lamb and we've got the potential for a really great bison herd in Montana," said Bitz. "What we don't have is a way to take those raw products that we produce in Montana and turn it into a more finished product and export it."

Bitz said a meat processing plant would help tell the stories of Montana's ranches.

"A lot of producers here have really great stories of family ranches, who are great land stewardesses as well," said Bitz. "When their beef, or their lamb goes out of state, it sort of becomes anonymous."

This isn't the first time someone's tried studying to see if a meat processing facility would work in Montana, but Bitz said this time is different.

"We're really trying to be broad and open about how we look at this," said Bitz. "We're not trying to put a lot of constraints on the project. We are trying to be broad and just answer the fundamental question, ‘Can Montana process meat locally?'"

Bitz said this project wasn't dreamt up over night

"We've spent a while now putting the project together, getting the right people on the team, getting money to take the project through to completion," said Bitz.

Bitz said they recently secured that funding and they plan to start the actual study part of the project this month.

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