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First Meat, Poultry Loan Program In State

Big Sky Butcher LLC from Glendive received a loan offered through the Meat & Poultry Processing Intermediary Loan Program Sept. 8.

MPILP is a USDA financial program granting $4 million to Great Northern Development Corp. to establish a revolving loan fund for meat and poultry processing businesses and activities.

Matt Baca owns Big Sky Butcher, LLC, and plans to open a state-inspected meat processing operation at the former Triple T Meats site. By becoming state-inspected, Big Sky Butcher, LLC will be able to process local rancher’s animals and sell them to local and regional markets. Ultimately, Big Sky Butcher, LLC plans to join the Cooperative Interstate Shipping Program to market beef from local eastern Montana producers across state lines and to international markets.

Once operational, Big Sky Butcher will be one of only two state-inspected facilities in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

Baca worked closely with the Eastern Montana Food & Ag Development Centers located at Great Northern Development Corporation and Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation (Baker) to navigate the USDA requirements for MPILP funds. GNDC and EPEDC are certified economic development organizations with extensive experience financing small businesses and technical assistance.

Both entities have identified the need for financial products and technical assistance services to assist food supply chain businesses in eastern Montana. GNDC is the fiscal sponsor of the Eastern Montana MPILP fund and is the first MPILP awardee to close a loan in Montana State utilizing these funds.

“This loan was an instrumental part of being able to make this acquisition. The process was smooth and the tools that were made accessible helped take it across the finish line,” Baca said.

If you or anyone you know in eastern Montana is in need of financial assistance for their meat processing business and activities, please encourage them to reach out to the Great Northern Development Corporation loan team at

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