MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Small and mid-sized food processors are struggling to maintain meat supply chain demands. But now, North Dakota is receiving more than ten million dollars to increase and expand meat and poultry processing for those producers.

10M dollars was awarded today to the Lewis and Clark Council, which will act as a revolving loan fund for Ag producers to hire more workers, modernize equipment, and buy more cattle. In addition, nearly $500,000 is going to South 40 Beef in Mott to expand its facility, doubling its size.. helping process more cattle every month.

Officials say this money will help local meat producers reach more people, nationwide, and could even lower beef costs in our state.

“We know that there is way too much monopoly in meat processing in America. And we saw that pronounced so significantly during the COVID Pandemic. These were really targeted programs to try to hit that sweet spot where folks are ready to expand or folks are ready to get in that market, and these grant opportunities are going to help them do that,” said Erin Oban, the State Director for USDA Rural Development.

Today’s announcement is the first round of funding. Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks.