In an effort to support local farms and meet the demand for locally raised meat, the federal government has awarded an $800,000 grant toward the construction of a slaughterhouse in Liberty, NY, Meatingplace reported.

Construction of the new $1.7 million, 5,000-square foot Southern Catskills Red Meat Processing Facility is expected to begin next spring.

“This federal investment will create jobs, promote economic development in our area and most importantly, help local family farms stay in business and grow,” Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) said in a prepared statement.

Hinchey praised the federal contribution as critical to supporting regional agriculture and said  the U.S. should continue to invest in programs that promote family farms and the economic opportunities they bring to rural areas such as Sullivan County.

Jonathan Rouis, chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature, which committed $150,000 to the project, said in a statement that the lack of a meat processing plants is a growing problem for small farmers across the nation.  The new slaughterhouse will be easily accessible for farmers from Sullivan County and nearby areas who no longer will have  to travel several hours with their livestock to process meats.