Sidney Herald: Two Sidney businesses to receive ARPA funding to expand operations, facilities

by Mark Berryman

According to a press release by Montana Senator Jon Tester, two Sidney, Montana businesses will receive $900,000 from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to help expand and update their facilities as a result of his efforts.

The two businesses, Eastern Montana Meats, LLC and Sidney Sugars Inc. will receive $450,000 each as a part of more than $7.8 million in ARPA funds for 30 Montana small businesses. The list includes 17 meat processing projects and resources for three new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified meat processing facilities.

According to the release, Tester helped negotiate the ARPA, which provided this funding.

Eastern Montana Meats (EMM) will use their funds to expand their USDA-inspected facility and upgrade their meat processing equipment.

“Consolidation in the meat packing industry is hurting our ranchers, small processors, and consumers, which is why it’s critical that we support local outfits grow their businesses right here in Montana,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have secured these American Rescue Plan resources for Eastern Montana Meats, which will help increase competition, protect producers, and bolster Montana’s economy and our agricultural way of life.”

EMM is owned and operated by Steve Lunderby and his son, Dillon and works with local ranchers to provide top quality Montana beef from ranch to table.

Sidney Sugars will use their funds for natural gas boiler conversion at their facility.

“Sugar is a cornerstone of Sidney’s economy and I’ve consistently fought for the sugar program and the good-paying jobs that it supports in Richland County,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have secured this American Rescue Plan investment to make critical upgrades to the Sidney Sugars plant that will help sustain its operations for years to come.”

Sidney Sugars processes over 240 million pounds of sugar each year, partnering with Montana growers. Part of a greater agricultural cooperative, Sidney Sugars contracts with area farmers for 30,000 acres of land each season, and is an important economic driver for the lower Yellowstone River Valley.