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Just launched is RanchMeat, a new, web-based community sales platform designed to offer a better way to connect ranchers and those in the beef industry with consumers around the country.

The idea for RanchMeat came from some long-time family ranchers who recognize the disconnect between raising cattle for food and their customer, whom they typically never met or otherwise interacted with, despite food being such an important link between them.

RanchMeat is an online community where ranchers sign up to list the animals they want to sell, even working around their existing sales plan to sell just a few ‘extra’ animals.

The new venture is owned by a group of ranching families in Montana. “In other words, RanchMeat isn’t some sort of tech start up or marketing group, but was started by people who get their sole income from the land,” said David Thompson, Principal at Brickhouse, a Bozeman company that is assisting in marketing the service. Thompson said, “RanchMeat as a way to help independent ranchers across the country get more out of their hard work.”

The ranchers can be located anywhere, everywhere, explained Thompson. The idea is that cattle owners (and consumers) can and will be from all over the country. Processors or brokers may also use the platform to sell their products.

RanchMeat offers an opportunity to fill out a “rancher profile” too, which gives them a way to talk about their philosophy on raising animals, ranching practices, and any other things a consumer might want to know about them.

Consumers can browse listings that fit their budget, location, or the description of the ranch and its management approach. Then, while also choosing the cuts and processing they want, they can join a group already committed to a portion of an animal (the minimum purchase is quarter beef) or start their own. When the entire animal has been reserved, the sale is complete — and when the beef is ready for processing, the system lets all parties know each step until the beef is ready for owner pick up or is shipping from the processor.

Accounts are free, and RanchMeat simply earns a small service fee for managing the portal, collected at checkout.

“RanchMeat gives us a way to go back to the days when ranchers like me fed our family and friends, and didn’t just ship out cattle to other companies who get the bulk of the profit on all our hard work,” points out one rancher. “There are a bunch of online beef subscription type things now, but they are just fancy online resellers, marking up a handful of options they choose. What I like about RanchMeat is it’s really a full-on marketplace that anyone can join, and people can choose to do business with exactly whom they want to.”

For more information, visit RanchMeat.com.