This week, the Flathead County Board of Commissioners fully supports Glacier Processing Cooperative’s application to the USDA Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program - Phase 2. If funded, the Glacier Processing Cooperative Meat Processing Expansion Project would allow the cooperative to retain, modernize, and expand critical meat processing infrastructure which ranchers across Western Montana rely on for their livelihoods.
This project will have sustained impacts on our community and will meet the meat processing needs of our ranching community.
- Economic Growth: The Glacier Processing Cooperative Meat Processing Expansion Project will stimulate economic growth in Flathead County by creating new job opportunities. As the cooperative expands and modernizes its meat processing infrastructure, it will require additional staff, offering stable employment and income opportunities to residents. Currently, these jobs and services are provided by out-of-state suppliers.
- Increased Local Meat Production: With the expansion of meat processing facilities, the cooperative will have the capacity to process a larger volume of meat from local ranchers. This increased processing capacity will encourage more ranchers in Flathead County to raise livestock, boosting local meat production and contributing to a more self-sustainable food supply chain.
- Agricultural Resilience: This project enhances the resilience of Flathead County's agricultural sector. With improved processing capabilities, ranchers can better adapt to market demands and seasonal fluctuations. This means they can maintain a steady source of income, even during challenging economic times or unforeseen crises.
- Quality Assurance: The modernization and expansion of the meat processing infrastructure will enable the cooperative to implement more rigorous quality control and food safety standards. This ensures that consumers in Flathead County can enjoy locally sourced, high-quality meat products, thereby increasing confidence in local food sources.
- Community Engagement: The project's success will bolster our expanding 4-H program in the valley. Our youth actively participate in this valuable initiative, where they gain essential skills in animal husbandry and market-based practices, contributing to the preservation of food security for future generations. Flathead County currently faces the prospect of restricting this program due to a shortage of processors in the valley, potentially depriving our youth of the opportunity to acquire these valuable skills.
Flathead County is proud to support the development of Glacier Processing Cooperative and this MPPEP-2 Application.