LINCOLN – One of the biggest employers in Lincoln is transitioning to new management.
Hi-Country Snack Foods is one of the largest employers in the area and MTN News has been told that the new owners want to keep it that way.
The company has manufactured, packaged and shipped its product – including the well known jerky – in Lincoln for over 40 years.
Hi-Country Snack Foods grew from a small operation with just a couple of employees to a sprawling factory with a workforce around 40.
Though the names have changed throughout the decades — reflecting an expanding portfolio of products — the commitment to the community hasn’t.
As the current owners work to hand over the reigns, new management is working to keep the company local.
That’s done in part through the help of a $400,000 loan approved earlier this year acquired with help from the Montana Business Assistance Connection.
The Community Development Block Grant is designed to create or keep jobs in high-need communities like Lincoln.
With the total sale valued in the multi-million dollar range, MBAC says the $400,000 loan through the department of commerce will help keep jobs in this area.
The new owner – Travis Byerly – already owns a stake in the company and has had other business ventures in Montana, including a role as owner of the Montana Fish Company in Bozeman.
“He has a lot of experience in the industry. He’s run some similar types of ventures or been part of them in Bozeman,” said the MBAC’s Eric Seidensticker.
“I think he’s got a really solid marketing background, and he’s very well versed in promoting and growing networks and brands,” he added.
We’re told Byerly is already working on new ways to market products to different groups.
“Everybody in Lincoln’s excited about it, and retaining those jobs is just huge,” Seidensticker said.
MTN News reached out to the new owners and Hi-Country management for comment on the sale but they did not return our calls.
No timeline was provided on when the sale will be complete.
-Jacob Fuhrer reporting for MTN News