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Join us on Tuesday, February 7th from 1-5 pm for a Pre-Conference Workshop “Grass To Table!” How to get your livestock in the hands of the consumer

Pre-Registration Required

Grass to Table! How to get your livestock in the hands of the consumer

The pre-conference will feature three ranchers across the state of Montana and Alec Oliver of Country Natural Beef in Oregon.  Each speaker will share their challenges and opportunities as they have worked to market their livestock to the consumer.  This discussion will include livestock processing, regulations with state and USDA processing facilities, restaurants, marketing strategies, and other options to get your livestock to the consumer.

Speakers include the following:

Cole Mannix – Helena, Montana

Cole Mannix is part of an extended family that has ranched together near Helmville, Montana since 1882. He was director of operations for a beef company called Ranchers Original and Associate Director for Western Landowners Alliance before founding Old Salt Co-op, a meat business bringing Montanans together around animal-based foods and agriculture to improve human and ecological health. Cole will share an overview of what Old Salt Co-op is doing to create a vertically integrated ranch-to-consumer meat business in Montana. Cole will cover opportunities and challenges facing Montana meat businesses working on similar projects.


Korey and Wendy Fauque – Sunburst, Montana

Korey and Wendy Fauque farm and ranch in Sunburst, Montana and have adopted everything from diverse rotations and intensive grazing to reduced inputs.  They are also producing a compost extract that they put down with their seed.  They also have a retail grass finished beef business and own KW Insurance.  Korey and Wendy will share their experience with marketing their grass finished beef.

Ty and Sarina O’Connor – Ekalaka, Montana

Ty, Sarina, and their 8 kids run a 53,000-acre ranch and farm, restaurant, bar, USDA processing plant, and meat sales business.  Ty is originally from Plevna, Montana.  He went to Montana State University on basketball and football scholarships and came out with a degree in agriculture operations technology.  Ty started ranching and farming in 1998.  Ty and his wife will cover all of the challenges and opportunities that they have encountered as they have marketed their beef through several niche businesses.

Alec Oliver from Country Natural Beef – Grant County, Oregon

Alec Oliver is a fifth-generation cattle rancher that learned from his father, and balanced ranching life with 4-H, FFA, and sports.  Alec graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor of science degree in animal and veterinary science in 2011.  After graduation Alec returned home to the family cow/calf/yearling operation in Eastern Oregon.

In 2012, Alec was involved in a motor vehicle accident leaving him paralyzed from the abdomen down.  With the physical challenges that this has created it has not slowed him down, but changed how Alec approaches each day differently.  Some of his challenges have opened new opportunities and grown a stronger appreciation for what we all have.

In 2013, Alec started working with Country Natural Beef, he is now the Membership Director for the cooperative where he focuses on communicating with members, recruiting new members, and calculating the cost of production.

Country Natural Beef started in 1986 with 13 members and has grown to 100+ member ranches ranging all across the western United States.  Country Natural Beef focuses on family ranches striving to find a stable market for their product by connecting closely with their consumers through long term partnerships with customers, feeders, and packers.

Each rancher will share their insights and then there will be ample opportunity to answer your questions.  Come prepared to get some questions answered!

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