Farm Credit Affiliation
Northwest Farm Credit Services
When Travis Choat and his wife, Tamara, lived in the Midwest for his career in corporate agriculture, they missed their roots in Oklahoma and Montana, and always dreamed of being farmers and ranchers.
They knew, though, that production ag was tough to break into without joining an established family business. When Tamara’s parents offered them the opportunity to lease and purchase a feedlot and farm and start their own enterprise, they didn’t think twice about leaving salaries and security.
"I'm inspired by a sense of achievement and growing something that contributes more than it consumes," Travis says. "My goal is to create an organization that provides for society and builds others up."
The couple relocated to Montana and established Homestead Cattle Company, a custom backgrounding business, in 2011. In four years, Travis has doubled the capacity to 3,500 head, built a strong repeat customer base, implemented new technology, and grown considerable equity. To help feed the cattle, the couple’s Homestead Farm and Feed includes 750 acres of irrigated corn and alfalfa, and procurement of feed from across the region.
In 2013 they opened Powder River Meat Company, which now processes 300 head of livestock a year plus wild game processing, employing four full-time staff in a town of just 600 residents. Last year, Powder River processed the first cattle the couple had bred, raised and fattened, and they have ambitions to build on this value-added model with aggressive infrastructure investment.
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