Ranchers donate to Montana Food Bank Network

Producer Partnership donates nearly 20,000 pounds of hamburger

MONTANA LIVING — Beef producers around Montana have donated 19,800 pounds of hamburger to the Montana Food Bank Network recently.

The Producer Partnership, a statewide non-profit organization, facilitated this donation through its mission of farmers and ranchers working together to end hunger in Montana. Established in 2020 by Matt Pierson, a 6th generation Park County rancher, the Producer Partnership reached out to Brent Weisgram, vice president of the Montana Food Bank Network, to form a connection between the two organizations and line up donations.
“If the Producer Partnership was going to succeed, it needed an experienced distribution partner familiar with the food business to supply the donated hamburger to all 56 counties in the state," Pierson said. "My vision was simply to connect the dots and form a partnership to benefit Montanans in need."

Montana Food Bank Network has been providing food to people facing food insecurity in Montana for nearly 40 years. Montana Food Bank Network's trucks and hired carriers make statewide deliveries to a distribution network of over 310 neighborhood food banks, community pantries, social organizations, homeless, abuse and children’s shelters, senior centers and school organizations committed to ending hunger in Montana.

Montana Food Bank Network programs distributed over 18 million pounds of food statewide in 2021.

According to Weisgram, prior to the COVID19 pandemic, Montana Food Bank Network spent less than $2 per pound for hamburger. This was purchased from out-of-state vendors due to the lack of USDA federally inspected beef processors in the state with the capacity to meet the quantity demands needed.

Pierson saw this hurdle and wanted to leap it, “one of our first goals is to provide the Food Bank Network with as much protein as they need, so they never have to buy it again.”

In just two years, the Producer Partnership has collected and donated 95,967 pounds of hamburger to Montana Food Bank Network.

“That’s just from picking up cattle, finding a place to get them harvested, paying for the processing and dropping the donations off with our latest project of funding our own processing unit, we will turn out way more beef,” Pierson said.

The Producer Partnership purchased its very own modular processing unit in 2021. This unit can harvest up to 15 cows per day and is set to open in 2022. “With the unit, we’ll reach our goal of meeting the Food Bank’s protein needs,” Pierson said.

“It is simply amazing how significant of an impact the Producer Partnership has made for the Montana Food Bank Network in such a short amount of time since we formed this partnership.

"We are so thankful for the support and generosity we are seeing from everyone’s contributions working together to achieve such great results. This is so much more than just a single donation; the Producer Partnership’s concept has provided the platform for everyone to get involved to help provide a much needed resource to Montana families facing food insecurity."


Donations to support the program can be made on the Producer Partnership website at www.producerpartnership.com.

Ranchers interested in donating an animal can call (406) 220.7223 or Producer Partnership Program Administrator Mayzie Cremer at (903) 905.6029.

Mayzie Cremer, Producer Partnership

mayzie@producerpartnership.com; Direct: 903.905.6029

Montana Food Bank

Brent Weisgram, VP/COO MFBN

bweisgram@mfbn.org Direct: 406.541.4877 mfbn.org


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