Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

What Do Montana's Independent Ranchers Need to Survive? Customers.

In a squat 1,100-square-foot building on the outskirts of Helena lies a pile of enormous tongues. They are thick and leaden, stacked on a steel table like fish out of water. The bovines from which they came hulk nearby, cold carcasses hanging from cold hooks. Bearded men, their white coats covered in blood, rhythmically chop livers, punctuating the hum of industrial refrigeration.

This small meat-processing facility, which a group of ranchers started under the name Old Salt Co-op, is one of many that have appeared across the country recently. "Small" is an understatement: Old Salt can process...


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