According to a press release, governor Mark Gordon has relaunched the Wyoming Meat Processing Expansion Grant Program (WMPEGP).

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Last year the governor's office allocated $10 million in funds for the WMPEGP which was open from September 15 2020 to the end of that year, and only used $3.4 million.

Over that time, 56 applications were submitted from 43 applicants, and of those, 38 applications were approved from 28 applicants.

This time around, Gordon has allocated $2 million in Federal CARES Act funds for the new grant program, which is used to help meat processing facilities address slowdowns that arose from COVID-19.

Gordon said:

“The significant processing bottlenecks that surfaced last year have not gone away. This program will continue to help improve our meat processing capacity and ensure Wyomingites have access to high-quality products. Our work assisting independent processors is important to our overall agriculture diversification efforts and helps to expand an important sector of our ag economy.”

Derek Grant, public information officer for the Wyoming department of agriculture, said they expect there to interest in the new program due to numerous processors asking about the previous program.

Initial priority will be given to companies who did not previously receive funding from the WMPEG, then applications will be accepted on a first come, first serve rolling basis until the funds have been used up.

Applications will be reviewed by the Wyoming Business Council, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, and the Governor’s Office as fasts as possible, with Grant saying they were able to process grants last time in a week or two.

The program reimburses businesses up to $500,000 with a 50% match for eligible projects, such as COVID-19 sanitation, upgrading utilities, or additional hazard pay.

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