Cattle in a fieldMid-Scale Processing

Not that long ago, Montanans ate much more locally grown and produced food. In 1950, Montana produced 70% of the food consumed in Montana. Currently, Montana producers only sell 10% of their products to Montana consumers. Rural, remote and tribal communities have limited access to healthy Montana-grown food due to the lack of high-volume produce, grain, and pulse processing, packing, and storage facilities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many tons of potatoes were wasted, primarily because their value was diminished on the futures market. Montana schools, food pantries, and grocers could not receive the food because they lacked access to processing (washing, packing) and storage facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated public demand for healthy, locally grown food in Montana, which strengthens Montana’s food security and farm resilience.

Our Goals:

  • More Montana meat processed in-state.
  • Increased number of state-certified small, medium and mobile processing units.
  • Asset mapping of meat processing in Montana.
  • Increase capacity of storage, packing and processing facilities in rural Montana communities.