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Initiative aims to connect the food service industry to Montana-raised beef



Helena, Montana – Local eateries and stores may now purchase calves that are born, grown, and fed in Montana according to the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation’s (MSF) calves Drive initiative.

“From start to finish, if we can keep it all local that’s what we want to do. We want to keep Montana ranching and we want to keep Montanaans eating the greatest quality beef because it’s here in Montana,” said MSF program coordinator Heidi Kool.

All of this is being done to help their “Montanans feeding Montana initiative.” The project seeks to establish a link between Montana-raised cattle and the food service sector.

The cattle drive program is in its sixth year. The MSF cattle drive program solicits donations of steers from all throughout the state every fall. After being transported to Shepherd, Montana, the donated animals are fed until they reach their appropriate weight.

The steer is linked with a restaurant or merchant in its home region once it is ready.

“This year we decided just to take it a step further and to try to pair those steers with those local Montana restaurants and those local Montana processors,” Kool said.

Last year, local Montanan restaurants and stores purchased more than 85% of the total steers raised. The Foundation cited a Billings eatery as evidence of the program’s effectiveness.

“I know the high horse saloon for example is going to be doing a dinner in Billings on December 6 and they sold out within a number of days. It’s a dinner specifically doing Montana-sourced beef that is coming from the steers they purchased from us,” said Kool.

A nonprofit organization called the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation was founded to safeguard the state’s cattle business in the long run.

“Continue that legacy that families are leaving. When they ranch, they don’t ranch to make a living they ranch to make a life,” Kool said.

By giving leadership opportunities, academic scholarships, and educational activities, the Foundation helps the future generation.

Go to to learn more about the foundation.

For information on becoming a company or donor, visit, email Heidi Kool at, or give her a call at (406) 461-0642.





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