The 2016 Montana Young Farmer & Rancher Ag Tour is coming up May 20-21, and the first stop on the tour is a visit to Mountain Meadows Pet Products. Guest blogger Jennie Anderson is on the Tour planning committee and a member of the Sweet Grass County Farm Bureau. 

So, what do domestic pets like cats, parrots and hamsters have to do with Montana agriculture?

When referring to Mountain Meadows Pet Products, the answer is plenty. Mountain Meadows buys local grains and forages and turns them into an innovative array of products. In other words, they may be best known for kitty litter, but this company is a diverse operation and an important player in Montana agriculture. Here are a few things you might not know about Mountain Meadows.

  • Producing kitty and other pet litter and bedding is indeed a large part of Mountain Meadows business. However, what makes these litters unique is the main fiber used in the litter is a Western Red Winter Wheatgrass grown here in Montana. This plant has outstanding absor
    bability and odor eliminating qualities, which make it an excellent choice for manufacturing pet litter. Another value of the wheatgrass is that it is a renewable resource. The litters easily biodegrade upon disposal and also make great compost material.

  • Mountain Meadows also buys a variety of grains and large quantities of yellow peas from Montana producers and then blends and processes these ingredients together to sell to pet food companies. This is another large part of Mountain Meadows business and a great diversified use of Montana crops.

  • In addition to pet food and litters, Mountain Meadows also uses alfalfa, barley, grasses and straw to make a variety of pellets to serve different purposes. For instance, they produce a barley pellet to be placed in landowners’ ponds to ward off harmful algae. They even take unwanted straw and grass hay and produce a stove pellet that they use to heat their own facilities.

As you can see Mountain Meadows Pet Products is an innovative company with an emphasis on sustainability and focused on utilizing the varied crops produced by Montana agriculture. Tour attendees will be able to view the company’s new facilities first hand and participate in a full plant tour.

Join the Montana Young Farmers and Ranchers May 20-21 in Lewistown, Montana for the 2016 Young Farmer & Rancher Tour. For more information, visit the event Facebook page or register online at