Bemidji Pioneer: Producers seek cooperative approach to market beef

PINE RIVER, Minn. — Beef producers in north central Minnesota have a simple dream. They want local consumers to get a taste for and regularly consume their locally produced meat. They want to turn their culled beef cows into ground beef and market it to consumers looking for a grass-fed burger from a small group of producers.

The Headwaters Beef Cooperative received a boost in their efforts when they were chosen to receive a $25,000 Cooperatives for Climate grant from Minnesota Farmers Union.

Ariel Kagan is Climate and Working Lands Program Director for Farmers Union and said this is the type of project they could get behind because it is a group aimed at “providing stable prices to farmers and ranchers, and a healthy affordable protein to consumers, while protecting water quality, improving wildlife habitat and addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

Another part of this puzzle is where they’ll have their beef processed and how much that will add to the cost. In attendance at the most recent gathering was Dave Endicott, special projects coordinator for Minnesota Farmers Union. Dave shared plans that the Farmers Union has purchased acreage in the Staples, Minnesota, industrial park. It’s there that they’ll start to construct a meat processing center to be completed by spring 2025.

Read the Bemidji Pioneer story.