A wagon manufacturer in Holland before World War II.

Our Story

During the early 1940s, our founder Bob Lodder’s grandfather, Cornelius, built transport wagons for farmers in the Dutch province of Friesland. His passion was helping to connect farmers and their goods with local consumers—from farm to table. Sadly, Cornelius’s dream was extinguished by Nazis during World War II, who seized his business to support their war efforts.

Seventy years later, Friesla’s team is re-establishing the connection that inspired Cornelius: the farm-to-table link between farmers, goods, and our local communities.

During the late 1960s, there were nearly 10,000 slaughter facilities in the U.S., or roughly three per county. Over the half century since, the meat processing industry has consolidated. Corporate meat processing operations grew larger and more commercialized. Struggling to compete and remain profitable, small farmers were driven out of business. Thousands of localized slaughterhouses were decimated. By April 2018, there were only 2,758 slaughter facilities in the U.S.—less than one per county.

A lone black beef cow standing in a dry field in Wyoming.

Local farmers, the backbone of American agriculture, fell secondary to the rise of large-scale meat processing operations. The agricultural landscape changed, and not for the better.

To stay in business, farmers began traveling long distances with their animals to regional slaughterhouses. The trips stressed animals and affected meat quality. Farmers sacrificed profits due to increased transportation costs and wasted time. They bore the stress of scheduling with large abattoirs, sacrificing autonomy in their operations for the unpredictability of regional slaughterhouses. Consumers, once nourished by fresh, high-quality local meat, were disserved by mass-produced meat and little idea where it came from.

A tan Friesla Modular Meat Processing System setup for Producer Partnership in Montana

The farm-to-table connection, diminished by corporate commercialization over the past half decade, is worth restoring: for our meat producers, processors, communities, animals, and environment.

At Friesla, our mission is to help farmers and ranchers take back control of local meat processing—on your terms, time, and at your site.

Our vision is to create a network of strong, sustainable ecosystems in which independent meat producers and processors raise, process, and deliver premium meat directly to our local communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of large, consolidated meat packing plants. Our purpose is to help you create the alternative.

Together, let’s get started.