Nearly 100 small South Dakota meat processors are getting a share of $5 million from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Meat Processing Grant program. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem made that announcement at the new Dakota Butcher location in Rapid City late last week. The program provides eligible processors with funds to make an immediate impact on the state’s ability to process or store more South Dakota raised protein.
One of the grant recipients is Randy and Karen Gruenwald, who own Dakota Butcher based in Clark but also have the two locations here in Watertown, a location in Madison and are now in the process of expanding to Rapid City. That location will be opening soon. Randy said the grant comes at a good time…….
South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association president Eric Jennings said animal processing capacity has been the weak link in the beef supply system and that weakness was magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Dakota Stockgrowers Association executive director James Halverson said expanding animal processing capacity is long overdue.
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources received more than 100 applications for the Meat Processing Grant program-- 99 of which were approved. The grant recipients include 16 new facilities and 83 existing facilities with funding awards ranging from $9,000 to just over $108,000.