A group opposed to a proposed large livestock processing facility in Great Falls is hosting a public meeting about it this weekend.
Some ranchers in state say the slaughterhouse would add jobs and save them the expense of shipping their cattle out of state.
The Great Falls Area Concerned Citizens group is hosting a pair of academic speakers at 6 Saturday night in the town Civic Center to rally opposition to the proposed 3,000 acre food processing facility.
But Andy Kellom, a member of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, says facility like that would add value to the state’s cattle industry by keeping by keeping animal processing in-state.
Kellom manages about 10,000 head of cattle for a ranch in Hobson.
"The cattle industry is the largest agricultural unit in the state of Montana. It would be a great incentive to the cattle business to have a plant available," he says.
Kellom says he understands that some people might have concerns about a giant processing plant near Great Falls, but he says slaughterhouses have improved to become more environmentally friendly.
Friesen Foods, the Canadian-based company proposing the plant, says they have designed it to minimize environmental and community impact. Opposition group leaders don’t believe that, and say the waste generated by the slaughterhouse will harm their property values and living conditions.