probably only one booth selling beef products at ComFish this week. That would
be Alaska Beef from Sitkinak. The story of Alaska Beef is as unusual as, say,
hawking steak at a fish show.
He may be something of a fish-out-of-water at the tradeshow
but Nathan Mudd of Alaska Beef thinks his family's products are a perfect fit.
-- (Alaska Beef 1 "Yeah, you know ...
any cold storage.")
The story of Alaska Beef is like
an Alaskan version of "The Swiss Family Robinson." But rather than being
shipwrecked on an island, the Mudds chose to move to Sitkinak from Eastern Oregon when Nathan was 18 years old. He said that
from his first visit he was in awe of the streams filled with fish and the
miles and miles of beaches. And while the Mudds weren't stranded like the
Robinsons, they did have plenty to learn about remote island life.
-- (Alaska Beef 2 "and
it took ... with a VHF")
The marketing of Alaska Beef is
growing. The products are available on the internet and they're now showing up
in stores including Cost Savers in Kodiak and some of the village stores. Two
of the items, beef steak and stew meat, are packaged like "M-R-E's"- the military's way of packaging food for field use. They also
process two kinds of summer sausage and a snack stick.
Mudd has faced is finding the right label for the beef. Since, after all, most
other meat companies don't have to catch their own cows before processing them.
Alaska Beef is certified as naturally grown and grass-fed but Mudd says that falls
short of describing the free ranging cows of Sitkinak Island.
-- (Alaska Beef 3 "You know I've ...beyond
family purchased the cattle from the original owner who now lives in Homer.
They have a grazing lease and live on state-owned land where they built their
own cabins and infrastructure including their USDA certified meat processing
-- (Alaska Beef 4 "It almost feels ... way she did.")
Alaska Beef is one of many
vendors selling at ComFish this year. The tradeshow portion of the event is
located at the Kodiak
Center. ComFish runs today, tomorrow and Saturday
beginning at 10 a.m. each day.