The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a backlog in the meat processing industry. So Gov. Mark Gordon is directing $10 million in federal CARES Act funding to help Wyoming processors expand their operations.
The Meat Processing Expansion grant program hopes to address supply chain issues many producers and processors are facing.
Derek Grant, Wyoming Department of Agriculture public information officer, said there will be some requirements to be in the program, like processors providing a portion of what is produced to places like schools and food banks at free to reduced price to help underserved populations.
"We know there are people in need across the state and this part was just included just to help encourage some of that aspect of the processing. And I'll say our processors across the state have been great about this in the past," he said.
Grant added the program will apply to processors at the state or federal level.
"The goal is to basically increase capacity for these processors to do some capacity related improvements to basically move some of that product through those facilities," he said.
Grant said the program could also apply to people looking to start a new business in the industry. However, funds must be spent and facilities must be operational by December 30.
The Department of Agriculture is still putting together the application, but it should be open on September 15.
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