TORRINGTON – Wyoming Ranch Foods, a beef processor, retailer and butcher, recently opened its doors in Torrington, bringing another local resource for ranchers and meat-eaters alike.
The building located off of Main Street behind Fresh Foods grocer is that of the now-closed Kelly Packing Company. The location is newly refurbished and open for business thanks to owners Carla Weiser, Kyle Petersen, Travis Miller and Levi Miller.
After looking to build a new facility and facing some zoning and permitting challenges, Weiser, who is from Wheatland, said she heard about the now-closed plant in Torrington going up for sale.
“We decided to look at it to see if it was worth just putting the time and effort into redoing the plant and getting it going since it already had the groundwork laid to operate it as the business we wanted to run,” she said. “This is the location the stars aligned for.”
Wyoming Ranch Foods is currently processing beef and operating a storefront to sell retail beef, all of which comes from Wyoming ranchers. The Miller family has a ranch in Niobrara County as well, Weiser said.
“We’d rather support our community than some of the bigger corporations out there,” Weiser said. “Support for local farmers and ranchers has been shut out with some of the big packers and their control over market prices.”
At a recent Wyoming Stock Growers Association meeting in Goshen County, local producers exchanged concerns about the industry, and much of the discussion was about a need for more Wyoming-based processing facilities.
“We need more small facilities in order to cater to the local food movement that people want to buy locally and know where the food comes from,” said WSGA Executive Vice President Jim Magagna after the meeting in early November.
Currently, there are roughly 30 processing facilities throughout the state, which is “really low” in terms of ability to process, Magagna said.
“We’ve been getting a lot of really positive feedback from the community for offering this again,” Weiser said. “A lot of people, myself included, used their services and were sad when it shut down a long time ago.”