HELENA, Mont. – Meat processors of small and medium-size are now eligible for funding through the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant. The grant, announced last week by Gov. Steve Bullock as part of aid for businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19, would help support the expansion and infrastructure of the current meat processing industry.

“With increased demand on both the national supply chain and our local food systems, it’s time to invest in in-state meat processing,” said Ben Thomas, director of Montana Department of Agriculture. “These grants give our producers an opportunity to shift their operations, so they can access new markets, and we can keep quality Montana raised meat here in Montana.”

There is an available $2 million in funding, with a maximum award of $150,000, from the federal government which was allotted to Montana through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Possible projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, equipment and infrastructure that increase processing and/or storage capacity, costs associated with becoming state or federally inspected, slaughter floor enhancement, and other business adaptation and diversification activities related to local meat processing. The Montana Department of Agriculture and Department of Livestock will be working together to ensure projects follow meat processing rules and regulations.

Applications will be accepted until July 2, 2020. For more information on the MT Meat Infrastructure Grant, eligibility requirements, application procedures and the award process, visit https://www.covidreliefmt.org/submit.