Despite many benefits of pastured livestock, a major hurdle exists for farmers working on a small, sustainable scale to bring their products to consumers’ plates: a lack of independent processing and distribution infrastructure. The lack of facilities is a major logistical and financial challenge for small farmers; and many point to processing costs as one of their biggest expenses.
Small facilities for humanely preparing meat have closed in large numbers in the last several decades, due to industry consolidation, low profit margins, the complexities of federal regulation and other factors. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of slaughterhouses in the US declined by 15 percent.
Some pasture-based producers choose to build their own slaughterhouses, which makes them more self-sufficient, but also requires a significant investment. A farm with its own processing infrastructure becomes a different kind of business, too, requiring not only more workers overall but trained staff with specialized knowledge and marketing expertise to run the operation. Some farms have become very successful in this manner, but for producers who simply want to focus on the farming aspects, it might not be an appealing option.
Montana Ranch and Cattle Company works exclusively with partners who guarantee they can prepare your beef in a humane, professional manner, which ensures you get the best cuts of beef delivered fresh from our farm to your door.