Minnesota Agriculture Department hopes to get $10M in federal dollars

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his agency has a "goal" of receiving $10-million in the latest round of federal grants from the American Rescue Plan appropriations.

Monday, President Joe Biden, said he intended to send $1-billion to livestock farmers and the meat processing industry to "bring in more competition, and more farmers, and more ranchers and customers and we’re going to invest in new and innovative small businesses and meat processors which is the lifeblood of our economy."

Petersen told KSTP the state of Minnesota would like to get $10-million of that money to help expand small to mid-sized meat processing plants and assist them in hiring more workers and providing education to recruit people to become trained butchers.

"It will help those smaller plants to expand and, to put it bluntly, slaughter more cattle, pigs and put more animals through the process," said Petersen. "Using American Rescue Plan dollars for this is very appropriate because what we are doing is we are building resiliency within our food supply."

The state hopes to see the federal assistance sometime within the next few months.