PIERRE, SD. – South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem recently announced a $5 million COVID-19 relief fund to assist meat processors.

Meat processing grants will be provided to processors from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) to help process or store meat that was raised in the state. 

“SDDA is now seeking applicants who plan to increase their processing capacity to meet demand brought on by the pandemic,” the state agency said. “The program will reimburse processors a portion of expenses dependent on the total amount of eligible applications received and approved.”

Eligibility requirements for the grants said that interested parties must have less than 60 employees. Other standards included being a state inspected slaughter and/or processing plant, licensed custom-exempt slaughter plants or very smally federally inspected plants.

 Applications for the grants are due by May 1 and will be awarded on May 25.