Another New Packing Plant? It's in the Planning Process

An article in The Great Falls Tribune reports another large multi-specie processing plant could be on the horizon adding to increased capacity from other new plants. This one would potentially be located on the outskirts of Great Falls, Mont.


Friesen Foods, a Canadian-based company, has purchased 3,018 acres of undeveloped farmland, with plans to build the “Madison Food Park,” confirmed the Cascade County Planning Division in the article.


The property is located a little more than 8 miles east of the Great Falls city limits.


“If approved and constructed as described within a Special Use Permit (SUP) application filed with the Cascade County Planning Division, the proposed ‘Madison Food Park’ complex could employ up to 3,000 people, exporting thousands of tons of meat to consumer markets throughout North America,” reports David Murray, author of the article.

“’The scope and scale of the proposed Madison Food Park (MFP) property and project will include, when complete, a state-of-the-art, robotically controlled, environmentally friendly, multi-species food processing plant for cattle, pigs and chickens and the related further processing facilities for beef, pork and poultry,’ a Friesen Foods response to the special use application states,” the article states.

The project will also reportedly incorporate processing for milk and cheese, as well as a distillery. The article at full capacity, the plant could have as many as “165 truckloads of cattle, hogs, chickens and bulk milk each week,” the article notes.

“’In addition to the meat packing elements, the project will also incorporate facilities for the processing of both fresh milk supplied by local and regional dairy producers into a variety of cheese products, as well as a distillery, which will source the grain necessary for the production of Montana branded spirits from cereal crops grown by area farmers within the Golden Triangle.”

According to the article, the Friesen family of businesses “have been operating in Albert for the past two decades. From a livestock production enterprise, the corporation has expanded to include meat processing and animal nutrition divisions…The financial backing and development of the Friesen franchise is closely related to the Hutterite Colonies of southern Alberta.”

Planning is in the beginning stages, as landowners adjacent to the proposed complex will need to be notified, and a number of local and state agencies will need to approve the plan, writes Murray.