Rural Business Photo Stories

Salmon Enterprises

Salmon Enterprises

During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2022, beef prices rose and grocery shelves emptied. The Salmon family responded by selling ground beef from their farm in west central Missouri’s St. Clair County to neighbors and other people they knew.

Lawanna Salmon is a bookkeeper at rural Lakeland Schools. She described how she took orders from her coworkers and met them in the school’s parking lot. It looked like a “fast food drive through” with cars wrapped around the parking lot, she said.

Salmon Enterprises has since built a specialty line of beef sticks in addition to cuts of beef. It’s a new line of business for the family farm born of a turn toward local demand for local products. They sell their products at farmers’ markets in Bolivar and Springfield and to retailers across the region.

“It has been rewarding working with our community,” Lawanna said. “They were the first ones to put our beef sticks in their stores and continued to work with us and support us.”

It is a symbiotic relationship.

Both Lawanna and husband Josh serve on the St. Clair County Cattlemen Association board. Josh is also on the Missouri Cattlemen board and St. Clair County Farm Bureau board. Their oldest children Justin and Cheyenne were active in their high school’s FFA chapter.

Youngest daughter Kaitlin rounds out the team with her siblings and parents. All are involved in feeding calves, moving cattle, labeling and pricing cuts of meat, and selling at farmers’ markets.

“We work hard to provide high quality beef,” Lawanna says. “Those who come back say how much they love it!”

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