Every community has its share of strange smells that float through the air. I have noticed a couple in Billings that stand out. They are distinct and depending on your own senses, you either like them or you don't.

Sugar Beet Processing-Western Sugar Co-Op Billings, MT

Sugar Beet Harvest
Sean Gallup / Staff
Getty Images

The first aroma happens every year about this time. The smell of Sugarbeets being processed at the Western Sugar Plant. I personally like the smell, but many find it horrible. Sugar beet farmers would call it the "smell of money". I call it the start of a Snickers Bar.  Curious what your sugar looks like before it hits your table?

Oil Refineries in Billings, MT and Laurel, MT

Credit: Mike Sutton
Credit: Mike Sutton

We have 3 Oil Refineries located in Billings and Laurel.  On an especially cool day, I can always smell Diesel Fuel in the air.  Once again, the smell reminds me of home, but to others, it cries out pollution.  When you consider the fact that natural resources and their production are vital to Montana, the smell is forgivable.

Feed Lots on The West End of Billings

Historic Drought Cripples Ranches And Farms In American West
John Moore / Staff
Getty Images

When driving around Billings, you may ask yourself, "What smells like sh**".  The answer is exactly what your nose tells you it is.  There are feedlots that when in use, can put up quite the stench.  I am not a fan of this one and I feel for the communities that surround them.  The important thing to remember is this smell is essential to the production of a great Ribeye Steak at Jakes, which also is located on the west end of Billings.

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Part of living in the Billings area is the understanding that much of our cities wealth comes from Natural Resources and Agriculture.  Both of these can often stink up the place, but we are glad they are here.

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