Wyoming Legacy Meats, a Cody, Wyo., meat processor, has received a grant that will allow the company to expand. The Sheridan Press reports that Forward Cody, a group that promotes the city as a place to live and work, has received a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help support the expansion.

The grant, along with a loan from Pinnacle Bank, will help to fund a 12,000 square-foot expansion, which will allow the company to process about 75 head of cattle per day. The expansion is estimated to create 50 new jobs, with an average wage of $16 per hour.

Rep Sandy Newsome (R-Cody), a former meat inspector, explained at a press conference that many Wyoming producers sell livestock at auctions, and the animals are shipped out of state for processing. “The shift has caused the quality of our beef to become a commodity, and our ranchers to become price takers,” Newsome said.

Wyoming Legacy Meats is owned by Frank and Caety Schmidt, both of whom are retired doctors. They started the business as a way to market all-natural beef. They purchased the processing plant in 2016 to process the meat from their ranch, and it eventually received USDA certification.

Source: The Sheridan Press