CHEYENNE — Governor Mark Gordon created the Meat Processing Expansion Grant Program to provide support for Wyoming meat processing facilities and Wyoming citizens impacted by supply chain disruptions and regional shutdowns of processing facilities due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Through the program, $4.8 million was awarded to 29 applicants to reimburse costs associated with meat processing and associated infrastructure expansion. These funds will help ensure local meat processing and availability throughout the state.
The Business Council supported the administration of the program in collaboration with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and the Governor’s Office.
“As COVID hit our area, we were able to maintain supply from local ranchers and (Wyoming Legacy Meats) took on a front line approach to providing meat to this area,” said Frank Schmidt, owner of the USDA-certified plant in Cody. “People traveled up to 100 miles to our plant as (meat) was scarce. We were at a point of exhausting our resources when the grant became available and we were able to ensure our suppliers of pending payment and continue to meet demands.
“The grant also allows us to purchase equipment that will enhance our ability to process. This will mean value added for local ranchers to market their livestock,” Schmidt added. “ I believe the grant came at the right time to secure regional processing and gave the producers a much-needed boost during a time of uncertainty. Hats off to the program and all who made it happen.”