The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has selected the recipients of the $5 million in funding provided by the Arkansas CARES Act Steering Committee and the Arkansas Legislative Council for the Arkansas Meat Processing Grant Program.

A total of 15 facilities were selected, including these in South Arkansas:

A&C Meat Company, Hot Springs

CR Custom Meat Processing, Bismarck

Deaton Slaughterhouse, Caddo Gap

JACO Meats, Hope

4-M Butcher Barn, Gillham

"Recipients of this funding will help address the lack of local, small-scale meat processing capacity in Arkansas that limited our producers' ability to meet consumer demand for locally grown meat products during the COVID-19 related disruptions.

"Expanded processing capacity will build resilience within the industry and provide benefit to producers, consumers, and our rural communities," said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.

A review committee with members from several organizations and government agencies made the award selections.

The department received 45 applications requesting a total of more than $30 million in grant funding. Selected recipients will receive 79.7 percent of the amount requested up to a cap of $500,000 per application.

Collectively, the applicants receiving awards anticipate increasing processing capacity by more than 1,260 cattle, 850 hogs, 7,000 poultry, and eight goats and sheep per month. They also anticipate utilizing 180 full-time positions and 38 part-time positions.

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