News Article –
40 additional meat processing businesses to receive support to boost in-state processing and increase storage capacity
MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced $4.2 million in additional funds have been awarded through the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant (MMPIG) program to aid small and medium-sized meat processors in responding to the COVID-19 crisis through the adaptation and advancement of meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.
“The meat processing infrastructure grant program received an incredible amount of interest, which goes to show just how crucial these investments are for Montana,” Governor Bullock said. “Our hardworking producers need to have viable markets for selling their livestock. These grants allow meat processors to expand their capacity to meet increased demand for local meat and protect consumers from future supply chain disruptions.”
The grant program previously awarded $7.5 million to 62 different processors across the state in early August, making the total awards for meat processing nearly $12 million.
Meat supply chains across the nation were stressed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MMPIG program builds community resilience and bolsters food security statewide. Businesses are using the grants to purchase equipment to immediately increase their storage and processing capacity. Many are modifying their facilities to include slaughter floors and other business adaptations that give producers the option to sell their meat locally rather than shipping them out of state.
Funding for the MMPIG program is derived from the state’s allocation of federal relief dollars made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, with a maximum award of $150,000. The 40 businesses awarded had already submitted applications to the MMPIG program. As with all coronavirus relief programs, funds must be utilized before December 31, 2020. Due to this confined timeframe, the application process for meat processing will not be reopened.
The Montana Department of Agriculture and Department of Livestock worked together to ensure projects adhered to meat processing rules and regulations. A list of additional recipients is included with this release and a full list of MMPIG program recipients is available on the Montana Department of Agriculture’s website.