Local ag and meat processing businesses receiving $1 million for expansions

Bear Paw Meats, Big Sandy Organics, and Evergood Commodities to receive American Rescue Plan funding to expand operations, facilities


Last updated 3/31/2022 at 11:29am

Note: This was provided by the office of Sen. Jon Tester

As part of his ongoing push to support Montana small businesses and agriculture producers, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., secured $1,000,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding for three north-central Montana small businesses. 

Bear Paw Meats, Big Sandy Organics and Evergood Commodities Ltd, will receive $150,000, $400,000 and $450,000, respectively, as a part of more than $7.8 million in ARPA funds for 30 Montana small businesses, including 17 meat processing projects and resources for three new U.S. Department of Agriculture certified meat processing facilities.

Tester helped negotiate the ARPA, which provided this funding, and he was the only Montana statewide official who supported the legislation.

“Small ag businesses are the cornerstones of Montana’s rural communities, and it’s critical that they have the support they need to thrive and grow,” said Tester “I’m proud to have secured American Rescue Plan resources for these high quality operations in my back yard, and know they’ll help to increase competition, protect producers, and lower costs for consumers for years to come.”  

Bear Paw Meats purchases and processes cattle from producers across northern Montana, and plans to use its funds to expand facilities and renovate the slaughter floor for increased capacity.

Big Sandy Organics, the manufacturer of the Kracklin’ Kamut snack made from the ancient grain Kamut, plans to its funds for business expansion and a food manufacturing facility.

Evergood Commodities Ltd of Inverness plans to use its funds to install a new pea and lentil splitting plant.

In 2020, Tester held hundreds of meetings with Montana’s workers, small business owners, frontline health care workers, educators, tribes, and local officials to solicit input about what Montanans need to make it through the pandemic. Tester used that input to help craft the American Rescue Plan, which provided $20 billion in vaccine funding, $382 million for Montana K-12 schools, and billions for small businesses, rural hospitals and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As the only working farmer in the U.S. Senate, Tester has long been an advocate for increased market transparency and more competitive practices for Montana producers. He introduced his bipartisan Meatpacking Special Investigator Act which will create a new dedicated office within the Department of Agriculture’s Packers and Stockyards Division, addressing anticompetitive practices in the meat and poultry industries; legislation to return fairness to cattle pricing and help ensure Montana ranchers have certainty at the farm gate; and legislation to reinstate Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling — MCOOL — to ensure that only beef raised in the United States is labeled “Product of the USA.”


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