Here's a big question people really started asking at the start of the pandemic. Where's the beef? That's what a lot of you were probably asking yourselves when you showed up at grocery stores looking for some fresh beef during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Meanwhile, ranchers weren't getting the prices they deserve with the increased demand for beef. That was a question many ranchers were asking even before COVID-19.

Both of these questions combined have had more folks wondering why we don't process more meat locally here in Montana. Why be so dependent on out of state meat packing plants? Can we turn to local butchers and meat processors?

A few new facilities and programs have since popped up across the state, including a meat processing program at Miles Community College in Miles City, Montana. Read More: Where's the Beef? Great Opportunity at Miles Community College |

I was chatting with Evelyn Pyburn from the Big Sky Business Journal, and she told me how economic development officials in Butte are now pressing for a meat processing facility in Whitehall. Sounds like a great idea if you ask me.

Back in 2020, Montana Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) announced that he had "secured $26,250 for the Headwaters Resource Conservation and Development Area Inc. to research the feasibility of a meat processing operation in Whitehall."

Here's what Joe Willauer with the Butte Local Development Corporation had to say about the idea in a recent story for KXLF-TV:

There’s definitely a great job-creation element to it and being able to increase that role for more people to work locally and just the big picture stuff of being able to keep more Montana cows in Montana



LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

More From Mix 97.1