Osage Nation meat plant to begin operations

Pawhuska Journal-Capital

HOMINY – A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled at a new, 19,000-square-foot meat processing facility in Hominy will officially celebrate the launch of the Osage Nation’s expanded capabilities to provide tribal members with fresh, locally raised beef, bison, and pork.

The ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28. Following an opening prayer by Talee Red Corn, Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear will deliver remarks before cutting the ribbon marking the launch of the facility. Attendees at the ribbon cutting will also receive a tour of the plant before it begins its operations.

The meat plant will process beef and bison from the Nation’s 43,000-acre ranch west of Pawhuska, and will also provide tribal ranchers with expanded capacity to process their livestock and wild game.

The new plant is designed to strengthen the Osage Nation’s capacity to address food security disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Meat from the processing plant will be distributed to the Nation’s Elder Nutrition, Child Nutrition, and Food Distribution programs. A retail store will also operate at the facility.

“Food security, which has long been a critical issue within our Nation, came under increased pressure when COVID-19 hit,” said Jann Hayman, director of the Osage Department of Natural Resources, which is overseeing the project. “Our new meat processing plant gives us a vital new asset in overcoming the immediate disruption, and in addressing our long-term needs."

A separate ribbon cutting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 21, at the Nation’s new greenhouse and aquaponics facility near Pawhuska. Both projects are being underwritten by funds made available earlier this year through the federal Coronavirus Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.