SMITHVILLE, OKLA. — A new meat processing facility complete with a retail store and café officially opened in Smithville, Okla., on April 12. Three Rivers Meat Co. held its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony in partnership with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

“The best partnerships are those where everyone involved brings something necessary to the success of the partnership,” said tribal member Dusty Nichols. “The Choctaw Nation as a partner in a meat processing facility not only brings their resources and cattle but also provides valuable experience in business and leadership. We all recognize that this is a unique partnership, and we are committed to its success for the long term.”

Three Rivers is a USDA-inspected processing plant that produces value-added products. The company will predominantly process beef and hogs but will also process wild game, goats and lambs, starting at 75 butcher orders a week. Three Rivers plans to grow its capacity in the future.

The retail store boasts freezer and cold sections as well as fresh produce. Three Rivers Cafe has a meat and deli counter filled with fresh cuts of meat, deli meats, house-made cheese and precooked items. It also has in-house value-added products, such as sausage, bacon and chicken fried steak.

The new facility is an important addition for local residents, who previously had to drive an hour away to purchase fresh meat and produce.

“Food deserts are an issue in rural areas, and we’re thrilled to help solve that problem for our tribal members and area residents,” said Jody Standifer, executive officer of agriculture for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

With the addition of Three Rivers, Choctaw Nation gained a second processing plant to serve in its Choctaw Freezer Beef Program that launched in 2023. H&L Processing, located in Coalgate, Okla., was the first plant to participate in the program designed to deliver the finest selections of beef from humanely raised and cared-for cattle.

The Choctaw Nation is the third largest Native American nation in the United States with over 225,000 tribal members.