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From New York City to Mott, ND: The story of South Forty Beef

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 1:11 PM CDT
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Mott, ND – There is about to be a new USDA certified meat processing plant in the state.

South Forty Beef will be a 5,500 square foot facility just outside of Mott. They received a grant from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture for just over $7,000 to help pay for the engineering and plant design.

Area ranchers will be able to bring their cattle to South Forty to be butchered and processed, and they’ll also sell their own South Forty Beef at the new facility.

But that’s not the most interesting part of this story. Instead, it is the people behind South Forty and how they got here.

Mott, N.D., is nearly 1,900 miles from New York City. It was hunting that first drew John Roswech to visit Mott.

“Once I crossed the river, I was in love. I fell in love with this place,” he said.

Now, Mott is home to the Roswech family.

“I don’t think anyone believed we were actually moving to Mott, N.D., until we actually pulled out of the driveway,” Roswech laughs. “I still think people are waiting for us to go back!”

But they’ve put down deep roots here, making Mott their full-time home.

John’s commute looks a little different these days.

“I don’t drive as aggressive out here as I did in New York City,” he says as he drives across the pasture.

His hour and a half drive into the city, replaced by trips to his pastures on his South Forty ranch.

“I love the open spaces. I can come out here and sit in my pasture for hours and just look at the horizon,” says Roswech.

He’s traded in his life of traveling the world, working in e-commerce for a life raising cattle on the North Dakota prairie.

“We have about 100 head of cattle,” he said.

His goal: increase his herd to 500 cattle.

He’ll butcher and process them at the USDA certified processing plant he’s building just outside Mott.

“I can’t wait to be processing my own cattle,” said Roswech.

His e-commerce background will come in handy, as he figures out how to ship South Forty Beef across state lines, and all over the world. He’ll also process beef for local ranchers.

“I want to help those local ranchers get a fair dollar for their cattle and their work,” he said. “I knew nothing about cattle 18 months ago. I still don’t know that much but I’m learning.”

One thing he does know: this is work he’s quickly learned to love.

Roswech says there is one thing he and his wife miss about New York City: the restaurants. But, he says, they’ve learned to cook since moving to Mott.

In fact, he says they’ve cooked more in the past 18 months than in the previous 22 years of their marriage.

You can learn more about South Forty Beef on their website, south40beef.com.

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