Not many people can lay claim to the title of “fifth generation Montana rancher.” Cole Mannix is one of them.
Mannix is the founder of Old Salt Co-op, a multi-stakeholder organization, alongside the founding team, Andrew Mace, Ross Eikenbary, Caroline Webster and Nick Wiseman. The three founding ranches of the co-op are Mannix (Helmville), Anderson (Melville & Centennial valley) and Hibbard (Adel).
“This isn’t just about me. I don’t want this to sound like (Old Salt Co-op) is my thing,” said Mannix. “I had the initial idea for Old-Salt Co-op, but since then, friends have joined. We built this thing together.”
The co-op was founded to combat the fact that 95% of meat from the founding ranches of the co-op is “purchased somewhere by someone who cannot know the integrity behind its production,” according to Old Salt Co-op’s website. The vision is to sell local meat to local communities who know the value of the product they’re buying and know who they’re buying it from.
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“Relationships are by their nature local. ‘Local’ means something a contract cannot provide. It’s trust built over time in multiple contexts,” said