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A Family Affair

How the Hoagland Family is Keeping the Ranching Tradition Going in the Valley

Article by Jordan Gray

Photography by Hoagland Meat

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

The Hoagland family’s cattle operation has grown quite a bit since Ray and Faye Hoagland purchased 180 acres back in 1953.  Now, it spans multiple ranches and a USDA-inspected processing facility.

“Hoagland Meat has been a dream of my father’s for a long time,” Hoagland Meat CEO JD Hoagland said. “He started in the meatpacking industry when I was one at the Armour plant in Nampa.”

Hoagland Meat offers local ranchers a way to grow their direct-to-consumer businesses, and gives folks the opportunity to get manageable portions of local beef.

“Our plant and business is a little unique in that we are much smaller than the large slaughter and processing facilities,” Hoagland said. “However, we are quite a bit larger than your typical custom harvest company.”

Being able to support ranchers is a big part of the Hoagland family tradition, as they are ranchers themselves.

“I think the biggest thing I have learned working with ranchers is how big of hearts they have,” Hoagland said. “At the end of the day, ranchers will go out of their way to help each other even when they don’t have the time or money to do so. They work a lot of hours with very little pay. They are a unique breed of people and I am very proud to be a member of their community.”

Hoagland has also learned how to get out of the way of mean cows; a lesson his dad helped him with as they were unloading a truck in the dark when he was a kid.

“I couldn’t see anything, but started to hear something running toward me. All of a sudden, I hear my dad shout out, ‘Climb the fence! Climb the fence!’ About that time a cow was barreling down the alley right at me! I felt the wind coming off the cow as I barely jumped out of the way!”

Aside from fortuitous warnings, being part of a family business has other advantages too.

“I really enjoy getting to work with my parents,” Hoagland said. “They have done so many different things professionally and getting to capture some of that wisdom has been heartwarming. As we work through different problems, strategic plans, or dreams and aspirations, I get to learn more about who they are and the work ethic they apply to the task at hand. I get more proud of my family name and who I want to be each day by getting to work alongside each of them.”

Hoagland’s own kids, along with cousins, aunts, uncles, and his grandmother, are in on the business too: running cattle, managing the plant, and keeping the fleet of farm vehicles running.

The Hoagland Meat processing facility workers have tightknit bonds as well.

“Most of our team has been together for almost 20 years,” Hoagland said. “It’s kind of rare to see these days, but it really makes a huge difference on what we are able to do, as well as our ability to train new people in the trade. Our family, through the years, has developed a lot of close relationships with ranchers in our valley.”

Hoagland said the subscription model Hoagland Meat uses lets people support local meat without having to sacrifice the entirety of their freezer space.

“The historical approach to getting local beef has been to buy whole, half, or quarters at a time,” he said. “Our subscription program breaks it down so you only need to buy what you need for the week or month. Our goal is to continue to grow our subscription base so customers can get local beef on a consistent basis, and we can help our ranchers get more predictable demand throughout the year."

“Our hope is that as it grows, our kids coming out of FFA and 4-H programs will be able to move right into a sustainable ranching program, with a processor that helps them get their product to the end consumer. … In our opinion, that is how we grow our young people and keep agriculture available for future generations.”

To learn more about Hoagland Meat, visit

Hoagland Meat was started with the vision to connect consumers to local ranchers in a way that works for everyone.

JD Hoagland, Hoagland Meat CEO

  • JD Hoagland and Family