For Immediate Release
June 5, 2012
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
New Rockport Colony Becomes State's First State-Inspected Poultry Plant
The New Rockport Hutterite Colony near Choteau last week became Montana’s first state-inspected poultry slaughter plant.
The colony, which was founded in 1948, has been slaughtering and selling chickens and turkeys for more than 40 years, said John Wipf, poultry operations manager, but never under state inspection.
State-inspected poultry requires standards that are equal to or greater than federal standards but can only be sold intrastate, whereas federally inspected poultry can be sold interstate. Almost all of the poultry bought at Montana groceries stores is federally inspected poultry from out of state.
Being licensed as a state-inspected slaughter plant could enhance the marketability of the colony’s poultry products, said Gary Hamel, administrator of the Montana Department of Livestock’s Meat & Poultry Bureau.
Wipf said the colony plans on producing about 15,000 chickens and 4,000-4,500 turkeys a year.