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Great Northern Development Receives Funds from USDA

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development in Montana State director Kathleen Williams has announced that USDA is investing more than $16 million with three local business development corporations to create new and better markets for agricultural producers and food businesses in rural Montana.

The recipients include Great Northern Development Corp. in Wolf Point. Great Northern Development received a $4,125,000 Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program grant for a revolving loan fund to expand meat processing in a 12-county service area across eastern Montana.

Funds will assist with manufacturing and processing value- added agricultural products, primarily from cattle, sheep, swine, goats and bison.

“In rural states like Montana, people want to know where their food is coming from and this investment in local processing will help move toward a healthy, viable food chain where Montanans can access quality, locally produced food,” said Williams. “This is another great example of USDA’s commitment to growing and sustaining economies in our rural and Tribal communities.”

A total of $320 million was invested through several USDA Rural Development funding programs across 19 states, including Montana, to strengthen food supply chains and create more opportunities for agricultural producers and entrepreneurs.

USDA’s investment in Montana was through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program which provides grant funding to intermediary lenders who finance — or plan to finance — the start-up, expansion, or operation of meat and poultry processing.

Other Montana grant recipients include: Great Falls Development Authority, Inc. in Great Falls, received a $2,000,000 Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program grant to increase meat and poultry processing capacity in north central Montana by helping existing and start up processing operations diversify, increase production, and process a higher percentage of livestock raised in the region.

Bear Paw Development Corp. in Havre, received a $10,000,000 Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program grant to administer a revolving loan fund for the Montana Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program Coalition. Funds will benefit 26 counties and four Tribal entities by providing access to capital for businesses involved in meat and poultry processing and helping expand operations seeking USDA inspection certification.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans, loan guarantees and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for citizens in rural and Tribal areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community facilities, and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas.

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USDA Rural Development has six offices in Montana — Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Montana, call 406585-2587 or visit www.rd.usda. gov/mt.

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