Governor Greg Gianforte today announced a 50-percent increase in meat processed in Montana to date this fiscal year in facilities inspected by the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL).
“Increasing meat processing capacity here in Montana is a top priority as we work to add value to our commodities and preserve the Montana brand through the supply chain,” Gov. Gianforte said. “We’ll continue to make targeted investments in local processing throughout the state to help Montana producers capture more of the tremendous value they create.”
According to data collected by DOL Meat and Poultry Inspectors at state-inspected and custom exempt processing establishments, a fiscal year-to-date comparison shows 34,942 more animals have been processed in state Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) than state Fiscal Year 2021 (FY2021).
To this point in state FY2022, state-inspected processing facilities have processed 68,906 animals, up from 33,964 animals in state FY2021.
“The increases can be directly attributed to substantial investments that have been made in local processing and greater consumer interest in buying local food,” DOL Executive Officer Mike Honeycutt said. “Even considering the improvements that have been recognized so far, there is still far more consumer demand for local processing than capacity. We will continue to search for ways we can assist with tapping a tremendous unmet economic opportunity for our state’s processors and livestock producers.”
News of the increase comes as the governor recently announced Montana finalized a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.
With the CIS agreement now finalized, Montana is only the tenth state in the nation where state-inspected meat and poultry processors can ship their products across state lines.