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USDA Invests in Meat Processing Facility for Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Release Date

BOZEMAN, Mont., June 6, 2024 –USDA Rural Development Montana State Director Kathleen Williams today announced the agency is awarding a $7.7 million grant to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to expand food processing opportunities on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

“Diversifying the meat processing sector benefits consumers, producers, and communities,” said Williams. “We at USDA Rural Development are proud to invest in Tribal communities and their work to advance food sovereignty for their Nations, as well as regional economic opportunities more broadly.”

 The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) in Pablo, Montana, will use a $7.7 million grant to build a meat processing facility on the Flathead Indian Reservation with the capacity to process up to 25 animals per week and the possibility to expand in the future. The community will process bison harvested from their range and outside of Yellowstone National Park, as well as other reservation animals such as deer and elk. Tribally owned beef will also be processed at the facility, mitigating food supply issues that the community experienced during the pandemic. The new facility will enable the production of value-added meats for wholesale, retail, and cultural purposes, generating new income for the community. 

 Nationwide, USDA announced it is awarding $42.5 million in grants to eight Tribal Nations through Indigenous Animals Harvesting and Meat Processing Grants. Funding will help expand processing opportunities using modern and traditional harvesting methods for animals that are native to North America like bison, reindeer and salmon. Grants will benefit Tribes in Alaska, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.