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New Livestock Processing Plant Wants To Make Fremont County More Self-Sustainable

Taylar Dawn Stagner

While there are a few smaller meat processors in central Wyoming, in Riverton a new processing plant looks to keep more and business in its own community.

Genuine Meats is currently under construction, and its owners hope to bring a new service to Fremont County.

Right now most of the cattle raised locally is shipped off to another state to be butchered. This processing plant hopes to keep cattle closer to home to cut down on shipping costs in addition to making local food more sustainable.

Beau Sheets, a butcher, has been with the project since 2014. He said state inspected products have to be sold within Wyoming, so he hopes to help ranchers find markets outside of the state.

"Wyoming has some of the best beef in the world. So naturally people around the country are wanting beef from Wyoming so in order for that to happen it has to be USDA inspected," Sheets said.

Genuine Meats looks to be one of the biggest USDA approved meat processing plants in the state.

Sheets said that a business like this has big implications in a small community and wants to partner with other local food producers once they get up and running.

"We definitely feel like starting something like this in Riverton reaches more than our 23 jobs," Sheet said. "Our country is built around [agriculture] so to be able to bolster that a little on the retail and consumer side gets really exciting."

Genuine Meats plans to open by this summer.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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