LIVINGSTON - The first non-profit, federally-inspected, meat processing plant in the country is hoping to soon open its doors for production in the middle of June.
The Producer Partnership initially began in 2020, with now-president Matt Pierson delivering ground meat to the nearby Livingston community.
“The more that we did, the more that we realized the need that was there and the ability we had to connect people, and it just sort of took off from there,” Pierson said.
Connecting producers wishing to cull their herd, whether it be pigs, goats, or cows, with an opportunity to give back to their community through a donation.
“The ability for producers to come in and be a part of the project, they get the taxes benefit, we’re able to help out those in need in different areas in Montana,” Pierson said.
Bill Mathews, the Chief Development Officer for the Montana Food Bank Network, notes that since October of 2020 they have acquired and distributed more than 96,882 pounds of ground meat thanks to Producer Partnership.
“MFBN — that’s our acronym—has received more donated ground beef from producer partnership in 2020, than in the previous 10 years,” Mathews said.
With the facility nearing operational status, eyes toward future goals are in the minds of those at Producer Partnership.
“Some of the things that we are going to start working on is totally prepared meals for schools,” Pierson said, “Working with Miles Community College, and we’re going to do a fully paid for school here for meat processors. So we can start to educate people on how to do this process and get them out into the workforce.”
The plant will expect to open with about four workers, with the ability to expand to nine. When prepared and schedules aligned, around 20 people, including students, may be in the plant working.