Categories Lifestyle

‘Recent opening of new plant by Choctaw Nation and Three Rivers Meat’

A new meat processing facility with a retail store and café has officially opened in Smithville, Oklahoma on April 12th. Three Rivers Meat Co. celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony in partnership with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Tribal member Dusty Nichols emphasized the importance of the partnership, stating, “The best partnerships are those where everyone involved brings something necessary to the success of the partnership”. The Choctaw Nation’s involvement brings resources, cattle, valuable business experience, and leadership to the meat processing facility.

Three Rivers is a USDA-inspected processing plant specializing in value-added products. While primarily processing beef and hogs, the facility will also handle wild game, goats, and lambs, starting at 75 butcher orders per week with plans to increase capacity in the future.

The retail store features freezer and cold sections along with fresh produce. Three Rivers Cafe offers a meat and deli counter showcasing fresh cuts of meat, deli meats, house-made cheese, precooked items, and in-house value-added products like sausage, bacon, and chicken fried steak.

This new facility is a significant addition for local residents who previously had to travel an hour to purchase fresh meat and produce. Jody Standifer, executive officer of agriculture for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, expressed excitement over alleviating food desert issues in rural areas for tribal members and residents.

With the opening of Three Rivers, Choctaw Nation now has a second processing plant to complement its Choctaw Freezer Beef Program launched in 2023. The program, aimed at delivering high-quality beef from humanely raised and cared-for cattle, initially included H&L Processing in Coalgate, Oklahoma.

The Choctaw Nation, the third largest Native American nation in the United States with over 225,000 tribal members, continues to expand its efforts in the agriculture and food industry through strategic partnerships and initiatives.