Platte County butcher shop wins multiple awards including grand champion

Mark DeLap
Posted 5/31/23

Local butcher wins multiple awards

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Platte County butcher shop wins multiple awards including grand champion


WHEATLAND – Harold Allbright who has been processing both domestic and wild game in Platte County for 23 years in his shop H’s Custom Cuts has had a busy spring as his shop has won multiple awards in two different state competitions.

“We first went to Nebraska a month ago and entered my hot dogs,” Allbright said. “We just started making hot dogs a year ago. We came back with a fourth-place award on the spur of the moment from the Nebraska Association of Meat Processors.”

The actual award was “Reserve Champion” in the frankfurters and hot dogs category.

Last year Montana was a big year for Allbright in Montana as his shop landed nine awards from the Montana Meat Processors Association. He set the bar pretty high for his little meat processing shop and said that he didn’t think he could do anything like that again.

Until he came back this year with thirteen awards and the state’s cured meat overall grand champion.

“We entered 20 categories including a bunch of new ones that we’d never even entered before,” Allbright said. “We came away with 13 awards with an overall grand champion which was chosen by taking your first, second, third and fourth place points. We had enough points through the 13 that we won to make us the overall grand champion.”

In Montana there were 46 plants who entered the competition with their processed meats. They came from Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, Idaho and Utah.

The list of awards that Allbright won were, first-place for salami, second-place for the cheesy hot dog in a small diameter, second-place for commercial bacon. Other meats that Allbright won second-place awards for were his fresh cased sausage, pork brats, smoked polish sausage. He took third place for beef bacon with a specialty bacon, a seven-pepper snack stick, and smoked turkey sausage. He took fourth-place for fresh sausage blueberry maple which features a unique sweet flavor to the meat, spicy garlic with pepper jack with a specialty summer sausage, all pork sausage, hillbilly pork jerky, hillbilly chopped jerky which is most likely the most addictive meat you will ever come across and finally, Allbright’s flavored cinnamon bacon.

“Coming back with nine last year was overwhelming,” Allbright said. “And this year we started out a little slow. Then we just started getting award after award. It’s just like… overpowering. We also entered some new things that we did well in and some of them we didn’t do as well. We have room for improvement.”

Allbright took his whole crew with him to Montana which included his niece Sierra Allbright, his grandson Joseph Maston (who is graduating this month from Wheatland High School) and Austin Brocklehurst.

“I wasn’t going to go back to Montana because it’s a long trip to Helena, but being the overall grand champion, I have changed my mind and see if we can go and repeat,” Allbright said.

Allbright has been traveling to other state competitions because Wyoming right now does not have a competition.

“We are in the process of putting back our Wyoming meat processors association as we speak,” Allbright said. “We’re trying to put it back together and hopefully have one next year. We are redoing the board and I will probably be the vice-president with a kid from Sheridan presiding and a lady from Riverton who will be the secretery-treasurer. We used to be combined with Colorado and they are in the process of getting theirs rebuilt too.”

Allbright, who is the owner of the business was born in Lusk and moved to Wheatland while in the third grade. He graduated from the SWEAT program at Peak High School and graduated in 1983.

“Right after graduation I moved to Riverton,” Allbright said. “I went straight into meat cutting up there at Logan Packing. I moved back to Wheatland where I did a little road construction and worked at Jenks Auto Body for a little bit and I started cutting wild game in my dad’s garage.”

Allbright is one of the few old school meat cutters in Platte County who has been a success in the meat cutting business. He has been associated with hunting and processing since he was a child and has almost a half-century of experience under his belt.

“We used to cut it (wild game) on the kitchen table,” Allbright said about growing up with a dad who first taught him how to cut and process.

His state-of-the art facility today is kept very busy with orders and Allbright said that he is already booking some jobs a year out. They also do a variety of wild game. He is known also for his tasty sausage mixes and infused cheese sausage.

“We did seven moose two years ago,” Allbright said. “Also, two or three Bighorn Sheep, one mountain goat just off the top of my head. For deer, it’s right around 700 head and also elk, antelope, moose. I have a pretty good crew and we do it without hardly ever putting a 10-hour day in.”

According to Allbright, most of his crew has been with him for almost three years. This shop puts out a ton of work with Allbright and three full-time workers.

With such a diverse number of talents, Allbright chose meat processing over other professions partly because of job security.

“There was just a demand,” Allbright said. “Wildlife was plentiful and I had so many people asking me to cut their meat.  I did my job at the body shop plus cut two hundred head of wild game and I told my dad that I thought I could make a go at this.”

He made more than a go. He started out as a child, cutting meat on a kitchen table to owning his own award-winning processing shop.

“I ended up finding a piece of property and built the shop,” he said. “I learned early how to cut meat from my dad but then had courses through the PEAK school and SWEAT. It was a high school class that was offered. The class involved cutting the meat, curing the meat and all that went along with processing. That program shut down in the ‘90s.”

Although Allbright doesn’t have and does not desire to be a USDA plant, his shop is not only well-respected by state inspectors, but by his customers. Many think that meat, when not stamped USDA is a lesser quality, but that simply is not true.

The inspections and regulations by the State of Wyoming are just as stringent if not moreso concerning meat processing. The main differences, according to Allbright is that with USDA stamped meat, an inspector has to be on-site and when it is processed and stamped, the domestic meat that is processed can be sold.

“It’s red tape, gray tape,” Allbright said. “I can’t sell it to you, but you can pay me to process it.”

Many were under the impression that we could sell meat locally if we kept it in Wyoming.

“No, everybody thought that,” Allbright said. “All of my packages are marked ‘not for sale.’ What happens to it when it leaves out of here, I have no control over it. I know some people sell it, but I can’t do anything about that. If they bring me in a slab of bacon, I can cure it for them and they can take it. But I can’t sell them the cured bacon. I am licensed by the state for custom-only processing. I have been for twenty-some years.”

According to Allbright, custom-only means the animal has to be bought before it’s killed and quartered. Then it all has to be logged into paperwork to satisfy the state’s regulations. Another feature of H’s Custom Cuts is that they will go and pick up the animal to be be butchered.

In addition to having a successful meat processing plant, Allbright also has an impressive trophy room set up on-site with mounted racks of just about every animal native to Wyoming and even an alligator that he killed on a nuisance hunt down in Florida. Customers can come and marvel at some of the animals that once roamed the eastern Rockies here in Wyoming.

As for the legacy, Allbright is hoping one day to pass the torch to one of his family members and he hopes that his shop can be operational for generations to come.

Sierra Allbright who has mastered many things in the business already said that it’s sometimes a challenge working for family, but she said that it’s all good and she has learned a lot.

“I pretty much like everything here,” she said. “I’ve done it my whole life. Probably making sausage is my favorite part of the job and there are so many different types.”

She has a $90K sausage maker and stuffer that she works from and she works effortlessly putting out product. The shop has also ventured into processing their own jerky and Allbright said that it requires a whole other set of equipment. She said that without the right equipment it is hard to do.

According to their website,, “We are Wheatland, WY’s favorite meat processing center. At H’s Custom Cuts, we take pride in providing customized processing for each animal that fits through our doors. All animals are carefully cut and wrapped to your exact specifications and requirements. Here at H’s Custom Cuts, we believe that excellent customer service consists of courteous, honest communication and timely completion of orders. Whether it is domesticated or wild game meat, our butcher shop will process them all for you.”

H’s Custom Cuts address is: 49 Rock Lake Road in Wheatland and their hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays and by appointment on weekends. According to their website, their coverage area is Wheatland, Lusk, Douglas, Guernsey, Torrington, Cheyenne.