Missoula Current: Tester Announces ARPA Funding for Western Montana Growers Cooperative

The Western Montana Growers Cooperate in Missoula County will receive $147,000 in funding provided by the U.S. bailout to expand operations, Sen. Jon Tester said last week.

Tester said the funds are part of $7.8 million raised through ARPA to support 30 small businesses in Montana, including 17 meat processing projects and three newly certified meat processing plants.

“Agricultural production is the backbone of our state’s economy,” Tester said in a statement. “I’m proud to have secured this investment from the U.S. bailout for the Western Montana Growers Cooperative so we can help Missoula growers and grow their operations for years to come.”

Tester was the only member of the Montana congressional delegation to support ARPA. The legislation provided $20 billion in funding for vaccines, $382 million for Montana K-12 schools and billions for small businesses, rural hospitals and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Western Montana Growers Cooperative will use the funds to expand operations and support increased local food distribution. Members provide access to Montana-grown produce in the Pacific Northwest, which Tester says supports local businesses and strengthens the state’s economy.

The cooperative is owned by producers from the Flathead, Jocko, Mission and Bitterroot valleys.


Virginia S. Braud