HAVRE - Federal and state ag leaders were on-site at the Montana Premium Processing Cooperative (MPPC) on Tuesday.
This comes as nearly $292,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding was awarded to the Havre facility.
“As we approach the grand opening of our facility, I appreciate the opportunity to show off what we’ve been working on for two years and have been able to accomplish thanks in no small part to the support of the State of Montana and now the USDA,” said Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer.
"It is fairly central for producers, and there also weren't any facilities up here. The nearest USDA facility is miles and miles and miles away," MPPC manager Bill Jones said. "There's a lot of ag still in this area, a lot of young families, and they need waste processed or animals, and there just isn't anything."
Representatives of MPPC said The Meat & Poultry Expansion Program funding through ARPA is an example of how they are working to strengthen agriculture in part through increasing competition and decreasing costs for consumers by expanding independent processing capacity.
"I'm really excited to be part of this processing facility. I'm glad to be on the board, and I think that Montana Premium Processing that we're building up here and having Montana with Farmers Union, and Farmers Union Enterprises, and some other people," MPPC board member Brett DeBruycker said. "I'm really excited about. I think it's going to be a real boon to the agricultural industry here in the northern part of Montana."
MPPC has more than 50 members already ahead of its grand opening slated for Nov. 21. The facility will bolster food security and meet the needs of Montana producers by supporting a hoof-to-plate business model.