An opportunity for Montana beef producers

Dwight Harriman
Yellowstone Newspapers

After bashing China on the campaign trail as a currency manipulator, President Donald Trump has been trying recently to make friends with the country, inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping to his Mar-a-Lago Resort and backing off on the currency charge.
And for Montana beef producers, that’s just fine.
Because recent developments show China could indeed become a big friend — of theirs. The Miles City Star reported last week that China, after banning beef imports since 2003 because of spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, eased restrictions late last year and could allow some beef back into the country in as little as a few months to a year. The Chinese are apparently pretty picky about what they let in, not just because of mad cow disease but because they want their meat produced a certain way. 
One Montana company, the Wacker family’s Miles City-based Cross Four Cattle Ranch, produces what the Chinese want with its All Natural Beef designation, meaning “no antibiotics, no added hormones, no steroid implants and no animal byproducts … fed to cattle,” the Star reported. 
Another important thing for the Chinese is what’s called “Source and Age Verification,” meaning the lineage of each calf purchased for raising is guaranteed, something else the Cross Four Cattle Ranch does.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., was recently part of congressional delegation that went to China to push for opening Montana markets to the country. The Star reports Daines hand carried a cooler of Wacker beef to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.  
That’s what you call marketing. It was no small gesture in a country where, according to the Star, a growing middle class wants to eat more beef.
There is an opening here for Montana cattle producers like the Cross Four Ranch who willing to meet what the Chinese want in their beef.
The beef industry is slowly changing to meet today’s palate, producing more natural and organic beef. It represents a big shift from traditional Montana ranching and must be undertaken carefully. 
But ranchers willing to consider changes may soon have a large — as in 1 billion people — opportunity before them.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Monday, April 1, 2019
• Corinthian Lodge No. 72, AF&AM, first & third Monday, 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple, Laurel Masonic Temple, 9900 Airport Road (except July-August)
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.


Do you have plans for a garden or landscaping project this spring?

The Laurel Outlook


Click Here to Check Out Our Latest Ads

We use Google cookies to determine our demographic of visitors to our site. You can opt out here.

We also use Twitter Analytics to track clicks from our twitter feed. 

You can find all the City Council documents that we have received here.