Montana is home to the highest quality beef in the world and soon some of the beef will head to China as part of a recent announcement between Montana's beef cattle industry and a Chinese online company.
At the Montana Stockgrowers Association's annual convention in Billings, Miles City rancher Fred Wacker expressed his excitement about the $300 million dollar deal with the Chinese online company, JD.com.
"We had a great trip to China," Wacker said. "We were received very well and visited several businesses including JD.com.
According to Wacker, JD.com will receive about $200 million of beef product over the first three years and $100 million in infrastructure money. The infrastructure money is for the construction of a new processing plant in Montana and a feeding enterprise for cattle at the plant.
"Our plan and verbal agreement with them is to have the product ready and we'll process it in another plant out of state until we get a plant here in Montana," Wacker said. "We're hoping to have Montana product to them in the late summer or early fall of 2018."
Wacker said the product will be on a weekly basis and that they are already identifying Montana cattle for China.
"We are also working on a site committee for a plant," he said. "We have engineers working on a design of a plant."
Wacker is flying to Michigan soon to look at a brand new 10,000 square foot hog plant, which he said is the newest plant built in the northern tier.
Beef is the largest growing sector in China and Montana ranchers will soon help feed the growing appetite.