ST. PAUL — Minnesota will receive nearly $550,000 through a federal program meant to combat the spread of a deer-killing disease, federal officials announced Thursday, Oct. 15.

Money earmarked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will fund three projects in the state, according to a department news release. A total of $2.8 million will be distributed between Minnesota and 16 other states dealing with chronic wasting disease, or CWD.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will put approximately $250,000 of the state's share toward deer culling programs, according to a USDA project overview. Nearly $130,500 will go toward a Minnesota Board of Animal Health project meant to identify factors that can lead to the development of the disease in farmed deer.

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, meanwhile, the sole tribe slated to benefit from the program, will receive approximately $166,000 for a regional CWD surveillance program.

Discovered in Minnesota in 2010, the disease is still relatively rare here. It is always fatal, though, and today is known to be in roughly half of the U.S, according to the DNR.