LEDGER — Do you ever wonder where your beef comes from while you enjoy a meal? Haymaker Beef in Ledger (about nine miles northeast of Conrad) is a new addition at the Judisch Ranch, where the family and crew have been raising cattle for more than 100 years. Now the Judisch family is hand-delivering their beef to Montana homes.
The family does it all - raising cattle, preparing meat for processing, and then packing and delivering cuts of beef straight to your door. “It takes a family to do something like this,” said Jim Judisch.
Haymaker Beef sells pasture-raised beef from the family’s Black Angus and Charolais mixed herd.
Operations manager Loni Judisch says it’s important to the family to know that the product they are putting out is quality because they spend every day caring for their livestock: “Getting to enjoy seeing people’s happiness when they get back to us and say, ‘Oh that was the best beef we’ve ever tasted,’ or, ‘That was so fresh,' makes it all worthwhile," said Loni Judisch.
Judisch works with businesses to get meats processed before delivering them to customers. The ranch is looking forward to the new USDA-certified facility that The Butcher Block Custom Meats has in the works. Once the facility is open, Haymaker Beef hopes to get their meat certified to sell across the country.
“Haymaker's already selling product. They’re just having to travel a long distance to get the product produced down to a sellable. That’s our drive to providing this facility, is just a huge need in the local area that can provide that inspected product,” said Robert Bixler, owner of The Butcher Block Custom Meats.
Operating an independent business during the pandemic can be risky, especially in the competitive livestock industry in Montana. With that knowledge, Judisch applied for a federal CARES Act grant and used the money to buy a new freezer to add value to the ranch.
“Its actually worked out okay. It seems like there’s been more grant money available and in times of crisis like that you just find an alternate route, I guess. I hope it’s something we can keep going for many years to come. It’ll be a mainstay,” said Ross Judisch. Click here to visit the website.