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Governor Gianforte Highlights Ag Innovation at Multigenerational Cattle Ranch

Governor Gianforte with McCafferty Ranch Owner Looking at Sprout Feed
  • Logan Kruse
  • March 23 2023

Kaitlin Price, Office of the Governor


Governor Gianforte Highlights Ag Innovation at Multigenerational Cattle Ranch


BELT, Mont. – To mark the fourth day of Montana Agriculture Week, Governor Greg Gianforte and Director Clark today visited a multigenerational cattle ranch in Cascade County helping drive innovation in the ag industry.

"To keep pace with a transforming industry, farms and ranches across Montana have become laboratories for innovation to drive the ag industry forward,” Gov. Gianforte said. “We’ll continue to cut red tape and help Montanans keep more of what they earn so folks like the McCaffertys can invest in their operations, innovate, and create jobs.”

Gov. Gianforte, pictured with ranch owner Joel McCafferty, views the feed produced by the hydroponic plant at McCafferty Ranch

A multigenerational family business, the McCafferty Ranch raises grass-fed, sprout-finished cattle at the base of the Little Belt Mountains, finishing their cattle for 120 days on grass fodder from a custom hydroponic plant they developed. The beef is then processed at a local facility, aged 21 days, and brought to market.

Gov. Gianforte toured the cattle ranch today with members of the McCafferty family and Director of the Department of Agriculture Christy Clark, viewing the innovative plant which produces drought resistant, cost-effective feed.

“We are always excited to see innovation in ag in our state, especially when it comes to finding innovative ways to produce drought resistant feed,” Director Clark said, referring to the hydroponic plant.


Director Clark, pictured with ranch owner Joel McCafferty, gets a feel of the hydroponic plant at McCafferty Ranch

In addition to selling directly to consumers, the McCaffertys serve their beef at local businesses, including the Roadhouse Diner and Central Avenue Meats, a craft butcher shop in Great Falls.

“Processing our beef locally at Central Avenue Meats has made a huge difference for us as we grow our business and market our beef across the country,” fourth generation rancher Megan (McCafferty) Gondeiro shared with the governor.

Last April, Gov. Gianforte invested over $7.8 million in value-added agriculture projects, including many local meat processing operations. Under the governor’s leadership, meat processing in state-inspected facilities more than doubled in Fiscal Year 2022.



Tags: Value-Added Agriculture, Governor Greg Gianforte, AgTech, Montana Ag Week and Director Christy Clark