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LINCOLN, Mont. — Travelers familiar with Montana Highway 200 are familiar with the sights as the road stretches across the entire state from the Big Eddy Campground near Heron past the Double Barrel Saloon in Fairview to the North Dakota border.
Perhaps one of the most recognizable stops along the 700-mile stretch is nestled mere minutes outside the town of Lincoln. There, in bright red letters, reads “Hi-Country” on the log building that’s all too fitting for the mountain town. The words “since 1976” are proudly displayed across merchandise to represent the history of a business that has grown to become a mainstay in Big Sky Country.
Travis Byers and Steve Fehrs recognized the potential in the meat snack and seasoning company, and the duo teamed to boost Hi Country Snack Foods and the Hi Country Trading Post to new heights.
Arguably best known for its jerky products, Hi Country began as a small operation before expanding its workforce, and its inventory, to the pleasure of locals and tourists alike. Throughout its 40-plus years, the business has been a staple to the community of Lincoln, providing jobs and a positive impact to the local economy. That commitment hasn’t changed since Byerly and Fehrs took over management.
“The natural settings and beautiful landscape and ability to go hunt, fish, or recreate right after work, or in-between work. Having that setting, a nice rural area and quality of life, it’s a great place to grow up and raise kids,” said Byerly.
A quick browse through the Hi Country website – https://hicountry.com – highlights nearly everything that could define Montana: the dozens of varieties of jerky, including pet jerky; snack sticks, sausages, and salamis; seasonings and rubs; and even outdoor gear and apparel.
And then there’s the trading post just west of town – the beautiful log building filled with jerkies and jams and jewelry. Hi Country Trading Post is essentially a structural advertisement for the Made in Montana program and its member businesses.
Byerly and Fehrs have gone on the record numerous times stating their goal of becoming “the employer of choice” in and around the Lincoln area. They’re proud to employ a solid team, and they’re able to provide higher-paying jobs after transitioning to an automated modern facility with more specialized equipment.
Fehrs spoke about that transition and more during the Montana Chamber of Commerce and Montana Manufacturing Association 2023 Manufacturing & International Trade Day event in Helena. Fehrs was one of the guests during the “Fireside Chat: Value-added Ag Transforming Our Local Communities” portion of the event.
Through innovative projects, Hi Country has seen greater sales, more cost savings, increased engagement, and improvements to an already-high customer satisfaction.
Hi Country proudly continues to serve its community and the state, and, in return, the business is grateful for its loyal customers and visitors.
Byerly said it best when thanked by Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen for doing business in Montana: “Wouldn’t do it anywhere else,” he said.