BELFIELD, N.D. — “Mom and Dad have helped me out quite a bit,” Jayden Krivoruchka said humbly of his new slaughter and meat processing plant called 701 Meats near Belfield in southwest North Dakota.

“We do everything from live animal to packing,” Krivoruchka said days after the business began operations. “Most every place around here will only take an animal that’s been killed, already. They only cut it up; I’ll do the whole thing.”

Krivoruchka is a recent graduate of Olds College, Canada’s National Meat Training Center. Krivoruchka attended a four-month program in Alberta.

“They taught us everything from slaughtering to curing hams and bacon, sausage making and even retail cuts,” he said of the institution.

The new graduate began planning the business as early as October 2018, with construction on the actual facility breaking ground in May 2019.

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According to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s list of meat processors, as of 2019, there were only seven state-inspected slaughtering-processing plants in the state, along with five official processing-only plants. North Dakota has 77 custom exempt plants, where an individual-owned animal may be brought in for slaughter and processing, but as Rod Houghtvet of the The American Association of Meat Processors said that the options are few and far between, especially in western North Dakota.

“It’s a business that needed to be done,” Roy Krivoruchka, the business owner’s father, said of his son’s new endeavour. “There closest one is 60 miles away. There aren’t any around here. There aren’t enough.”

For now, 701 Meats can only process animals that people bring to him if they take the meat home, but Jayden Krivoruchka says he will be receiving a retail license in the near future that will allow him to sell boxed product that’s been inspected.

“I can’t sell it to other businesses (yet), but I could eventually sell meat here,” Krivoruchka said optimistically. “If I put a store in say, Dickinson, or wherever, I could sell there, too.”

When asked if the business had any plans to season and smoke its product to a signature taste unique to 701 Meats, the owner was slightly cryptic in his answer.

“Not yet, but we’re working on it,” he said with a coy smile. “I want to practice with my own products before I put anybody else’s in the smokehouse.”

With the company still in its beginning stages, Krivoruchka invites anyone interested in his enterprise to come take a look. The facility is between South Heart and Belfield at 12130 26th St. SW, Belfield. Krivoruchka can be reached at 701-677-6328.

“Door’s open, if anyone would like to take a tour,” Krivoruchka said. “We’d be more than happy to walk anyone through and show ‘em around.”