PIERRE, SD. – Small meat processors in South Dakota are receiving help with their operations in the form of grants from the state. Governor Kristi Noem announced $5 million in funding for small processors through the state’s Coronavirus Relief Meat Processing Grant program.

“As COVID-19 and the latest cyber-attacks on JBS have shown, it is critical to have a resilient and diversified food supply chain,” Noem said. “Unfortunately, consolidation and anticompetitive practices in the meatpacking industry have made life difficult for South Dakota meat producers. This grant program will help us expand our processing operations, which will give more options for producers and consumers alike.”

The Meat Processing Grant program received more than 100 applications with 99 applications receiving approval for awards ranging from $9,000 to $108,207. The grants will fund at least 16 new facilities and 83 existing facilities. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) is managing the grant program.