Meat Processing Facility Feasibility Study

A Multi-Species Meat Processing Plant in Montana Could Be Profitable

In 2014 One Montana conducted the first phase of a feasibility study examining how to build a multispecies meat processing plant in Montana. Experts in plant design, marketing, economics, labor, and wastewater were retained to do research. The result was that One Montana found it is possible for a plant that processes 250 head/day to be built in Montana. If constructed, this plant could significantly increase the capacity of meat processing in the state.


  • Labor research determined that the proposed processing plant would need a staff of about 150 people at an average wage of $35,000 annually. 
  • The Conceptual Design team produced data and designs that modeled how a plant that processes 250 head of beef and/or bison per day could operate profitably. The plant is projected to cost approximately $44 million to build, with an additional cost of $20 million in working capital.
  • A Land Application System was recommended as the best method to deal with wastewater coming from the facility.  


If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact Bill Bryan, at or 406-522-7654.



  • Francis Blake—Rancher, Keewaydin Ranch; Co-Owner, Blake Nursery, Big Timber, MT
  • Glenn Duff—Interim Dean, College of Agriculture, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
  • Rich Harjes— Rancher, Willow Springs Ranch, Belgrade, MT
  • Niles Hushka—CEO, KLJ Engineering, Bismarck, ND
  • Cole Mannix—Director of Operations, Salt of the Earth Ranchers Cooperative, Helena, MT
  • Jim Peterson—Former Montana State Senator; Rancher, Buffalo, MT
  • Errol Rice—Executive Vice President, Montana Stockgrowers Association, Helena, MT
  • Bryan Ulring—Ranch Manager, J Bar L Ranch, Lima, MT; Founding Partner, Yellowstone Grassfed Beef, Bozeman, MT
  • Becky Weed—Rancher, Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool Company, Belgrade, MT
  • Bill Yellowtail—Rancher (Retired); Former Montana State Senator; Former MSU Director of Tribal Partnerships; Wyola, MT

FUNDERS:  This project was funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund, and by generous donations from individual supporters.

U.S. EDA      Montana Department of Commerce