DemKota Ranch Beef available locally

Brad Scoular, meat department manager at Ken’s SuperFair Foods, shows off a whole top sirloin from DemKota Ranch Beef last week. American News Photo by John Davis

Locally raised and produced DemKota Ranch Beef can now be purchased at all six Ken’s SuperFair Foods locations — and it has been selling well.

Being able to carry the product that is processed on the south side of Aberdeen and offer it to Ken’s customers is a win-win for all involved parties — from the public to the producer to DemKota, Ken’s owner Kevin Fiedler said.

It’s a new product that carries a lot of excitement not only for local consumers, but also for the family-owned grocery chain.

“We’re excited to be able to support the folks that support us so much and that’s our local ag community and cattlemen in our rural areas,” Fiedler said.

The New Angus beef plant, doing business as DemKota Ranch Beef, began slaughtering cattle toward the end of 2015, according to American News archives. In May, livestock buyer Bryan Prins said the plant was buying as locally as possible, with cattle being purchased from area ranchers in South Dakota. Officials earlier said contacts had been made with producers within a 250-mile radius of the plant.

For both Ken’s and its customers, buying local is a driving force behind some of the beef being purchased — that and the price.

“It’s a helluva deal,” Jason Jung said.

Jung purchased the beef from Ken’s on Wednesday, but had not yet tried the product Friday.

Ken’s ordered the DemKota beef through its wholesale distributor and began selling it at a price consumers haven’t seen for several years, Fiedler said.

“The price is wonderful, so why wouldn’t we want to buy local?” Fiedler said.

On Friday, DemKota’s U.S. Department of Agriculture Choice whole boneless top sirloin was $2.99 per pound at Ken’s in Aberdeen.

A whole sirloin averages between 12 and 20 pounds, and the meat department will cut the meat at no extra charge, said meat cutter Brian Russell. The process takes about 15 minutes, he said. Some customers prefer to buy the meat whole and cut it themselves, he said. Pre-cut DemKota sirloin was also available Friday for $3.99 per pound.

Some customers see that the product is from a local producer while shopping and others will ask the meat department specifically for DemKota beef, Russell said.

Fiedler has received comments from both customers and producers who are pleased to see the product in store.

Kessler’s Food and Liquor does not now carry DemKota’s products, according to its meat department.

As long as the quality is there and the beef is available, Ken’s will continue to buy and stock DemKota Ranch Beef, Fiedler said.

This appears to be the first time the beef has been available for consumers at a local store.

According the DemKota Ranch Beef’s website, its products are also export ready for Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Egypt, Canada and Mexico.

White Oak Global Advisors, the parent company of New Angus, bought the plant in December 2013 and has worked diligently and quietly to begin operating the plant successfully.

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