Federal funding helped local food producers expand their operations to include processing plants which enables farmers to meet the demand of Montanans who sought an alternative to the empty grocery store shelves. The lack of processing plants has caused a bottleneck in the local food supply chain, a sore point which was amplified when the pandemic disrupted international supply chains, sending shoppers to their neighborhood farms. Small operators rarely have their own processing plants and must outsource that step in order to take their products to market.

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