New small meat processor grant, CIS program provide hope for cattle industry
Governor Kristi Noem and state officials are hopeful that new grant programs will bring a hopeful outlook for the cattle industry.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — With meat processors big and small coming back from a difficult time during the pandemic, Governor Kristi Noem announced the start of a new grant program that will help small processors in the state.
The governor made the announcement following a tour of meat processor Dakota Butcher’s Wine and Spirits’ first west river store in Rapid City, explaining why locally sourced food is important.
“It’s a national security issue, it is imperative that we grow our own food in this country, that we process it and we can get it to the people who live here,” Gov. Noem said. “When another country controls our food, that’s when they control us.”
Although the program will help smaller processors, they’ve still got their work cut out for them. State officials saying that they’re seeing those companies with more work than they can handle.
“We’ve seen in the last year these processing facilities are months behind, years behind in their orders for processing beef and other meat products,” said Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden.
The money will help small processors buy more equipment.
The grant also provides $1.5 million for development of new facilities.
“This is probably the most critical for a lot of these processors,” said Randy Gruenwald, the owner of Dakota Butcher. “I really don’t think this could have came at a more opportune time for everybody.”
The state using the program as a short-term fix to help the state’s meat processors
In addition, the state will look to give producers more opportunities – mainly through Cooperative Interstate Shipment or CIS prorgram – which will allow cattleman to shop their meat around the country.
“Diversified markets are good for everybody,” Noem said. “It brings more competition in, makes sure you get better quality products to people and they have more choices, it also drives down costs for them but it also gives that rancher a more competitive market.”
Plans for short- and long-term fixes that the governor hopes will help a key part of South Dakota’s economy.