Alaska Beef Makes Appearance at ComFish


Diana Gish/KMXT

There’s 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.

One problem 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 organic.")

The Mudd 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 facility.

(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 Harbor Convention Center. ComFish runs today, tomorrow and Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. each day.

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