MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced additional funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will be directed to the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant and Social Services Nonprofit Grant programs to fully address identified needs.
“The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have drawn attention to challenges faced by our nation’s meat processing systems. And by addressing this complex issue here in Montana, we are building resilience to future supply chain interruptions in communities across the state,” Governor Bullock said. “In-state meat processing facilities are critical for producers. Ensuring the proper infrastructure exists to provide them with reliable, value-added markets to sell their meat is essential to bolstering our food security, especially during these times.”
Governor Bullock announced additional funds will be committed to the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant Program. The impacts of the pandemic have created challenges for meat processing systems across the country and supporting processing in Montana will help protect producers and consumers from future supply chain interruptions in communities across the state. Many processors have used the grants to invest in new equipment to increase their processing capacity and scale up their operations to meet an increased demand for local foods from Montanans who may have traditionally only bought their meat from grocery stores. This decreases the number of livestock shipped out of state for processing and puts more money directly into the pockets of Montana producers.
When the program originally accepted applications, it received an incredible amount of interest, and there was more demand than anticipated. Governor Bullock initially committed $2 million to the program and added funding to the program to award $7.5 million in grants. The Montana Department of Agriculture will review existing applications that have not yet been funded to determine additional awards through the program.