Byron Family-Owned Food Business Loses Building in Fire
Written by Andrew-Rossi on March 8, 2021
A Byron-based food processing plant is seeking community support as they attempt to salvage their organization out of the ashes of an immense fire.
Little Acres Farms, just outside of Byron, is a family-owned food processor and delivery service. Started by the Bates Family, the farm operated as a community co-op for framers and locals.
Their website says they offer fresh raw milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt, butter, and cream. They also expanded in meat processing for ranchers in Wyoming and southern Montana.
Little Acres Farms was in the process of upgrading and expanding its meat processing plant. They invested nearly $500,000 in the new construction.
On the evening of Sunday, Feb. 28, smoke was seen coming from the building. By 5:15 p.m., the entire construction was consumed in a large fire.
Fire departments from Lovell and Powell responded, but they were too late. At this time, there’s no word on what caused the blaze. No animals were harmed in the fire.
The building has been described as a total loss by the family.
Little Acre Farms’s website is updated to say they will be closed until further notice. 15 people employed at the operation are currently out of work.
In a Facebook post, the family says they are in the process of “cleaning up and assessing our next chapter.” They suggest many of their co-op members lost meat inventory in the fire and the family is currently trying to reach them.
Adding insult to injury, the construction and the facility were not insured at the time of the fire. This is part of a decade-long struggle for the farm, which says “no insurance company wanted to ensure a meat processing plant.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Little Acres Farms recoup some of its losses. As of Sunday, the crowdsourcing campaign has raised $5,000 of its $50,000 goal.