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What do Montana's independent ranchers need to survive? Customers.

Small-scale processing is on the rise, but ranchers still need buy-in from buyers.

This story was originally published Oct. 31, 2023 at High Country News.

In a squat 1,100-square-foot building on the outskirts of Helena lies a pile of enormous tongues. They are thick and leaden, stacked on a steel table like fish out of water. The bovines from which they came hulk nearby, cold carcasses hanging from cold hooks. Bearded men, their white coats covered in blood, rhythmically chop l...


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