How We Got Started:
Brian Engle forged his path into the meat business through humble beginnings. Having started cutting meat with his family from a young age, he built on those skills by eventually cutting deer and elk for a few family friends. Soon thereafter, he bought a wrecked semi reefer and set it up to cut wild game. Armed with a knife, a used grinder and some family help, he began his first meat cutting business that he successfully ran from 1993-1997. Brian took a few years off to pursue a degree in Animal Sciences from Montana State University and after working for different people, decided it was time to come back and restart the business.
Brian and his wife, Kary, bought 20 acres on the outskirts of Big Timber to start their new venture. The old semi was moved in, additions were made and Pioneer Meats was opened at it’s current location. Through continuous facility improvements, the USDA inspected facility is operating at its very best!
The Engles have two children – Bailey and Tanner – who are also alumni of the MSU agriculture program. Currently, Bailey is in the process of completing her post-doctorate at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia and Tanner is an agriculture lending specialist. He and his wife, Hayley, reside in Livingston.
Thanks to Clark Marten Photography in Billings, Montana for the amazing family pictures!
Awards: In 2005 at our first Montana Meat Processors Association convention we entered two products and won 4th place with the Linguica recipe. From then on, we were bitten by the bug to win. Since then our lust for winning awards has increased multi-fold.
In the last several years, we have developed more recipes and improved our process in making our products. In 2009 Pioneer Meats traveled to Moscow, Idaho to attend the North West Meat Processors Association convention and received Best of Show for bacon, and overall Grand Champion with the rest of the products entered. In 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2014 Pioneer Meats won overall Grand Champion in the Montana Meat Processors Association Cured Meats Show. This is an unprecedented feat and sets the goal very high for all products made in Montana. Pioneer Meats’ products has been recognized at the national level by winning awards for jerky, summer sausage and smoked brat categories.
Associations: Pioneer Meats is a member of: Montana Meat Processors Association (MMPA), North West Meat Processors Association (NWPA), and American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP).
Industry Involvement: Pioneer Meats believes that being active within the meat processors industry is paramount for a successful operation. Brian is on the Board of Directors for the Montana Meat Processors Association. And is a member of the North West Meat Processors Associations. In addition to being on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Meat Processors.
Community Support: Brian is on the Board Of Directors for Sweet Grass County Farm Bureau. He is also a Master Mason with Doric Lodge #53. In addition to being a member of the Scottish Rite. He is also a member of the Sweet Grass County Chamber of Commerce, the Big Timber FFA Alumni , currently serving as Vice President of the Montana FFA Alumni. As a member of Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers Association, Pioneer Meats was voted outstanding business of the year for 2011. Pioneer Meats continually supports the local food banks, in addition to Loaves and Fishes, Red Cross, local Churches, local youth groups including soccer teams, softball teams, and all Sweet Grass County High School sports , with products and services. Pioneer Meats provides financial support to the 4 H, FFA, Stockgrowers, After School Kid’s Club and Masonic scholarship funds.