HELMVILLE – Starting any new business is risky. But doing it in the middle of a hundred-year pandemic, well that sounds downright crazy!
But in a time where the safety of what we eat and knowing where it truly comes from seems more important every day, the Graveley family’s new venture may not be as risky as it seems.
The beginnings of the business germinated late last summer when cattle prices took a huge hit. The prices had dropped from just over $2/lbs live weight in 2017 to barely $1.30 in August of 2019. The drastic 35% change in prices, as it did for most ranchers, made it impossible for the Graveley’s to formulate any kind of plan or even make ends meet.
“We were looking at buying some land and equipment, but those kinds of drops make it very hard to do any kind of business plan, said Tressa Gravely, the owner of 3G Beef.
Graveley, who is also a K-12 math teacher with Drummond Schools, operates the business separate from the family ranch, which is owned by her in-laws and located centrally in the valley near Helmville. As cattle are raised on the ranch she then buys them prior to butchering.
“I didn’t get serious until around November of last year,” added Graveley, who launched 3G Beef over the weekend. “I started on working toward an LLC and all of my licensing about two months ago.”
As of now 3G Beef is offering whole or half sides of beef as well as some select cuts and burger. And there is the option of grass or grain finished with whole and half beef orders.
Graveley’s three children – Kadin, Natalie and Reid – are helping with the new venture during the quarantine and will continue as part of the family business.
“I think it’s really important for them to see how this all works,” she continued. “They’ve only see us raise cattle and ship them off to be butchered. I think this will be really good for them to see how the business works.
When you sell to someone you form a relationship (with the customer). You can drive past our ranch and see how well we take care of our cattle and how well we take care of our ranch. You can see that we engage in good breeding practices and how we take care of our animals.”