USDA announces $123 million in grants for meat processing projects
WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Acting Under Secretary Roger Glendenning announced another round of grants available to meat and poultry processors.
The agency stated that it plans to partner with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund to make $123 million in grants available through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP).
“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to transforming our food system to one that creates new markets for our small and mid-sized farming and ranching operations while protecting opportunity in our rural communities for generations to come,” Glendenning said. “The funding we’re making available today to meat and poultry processors will not only give producers more options, but also create good paying jobs and build greater resilience in our overall food system.”
USDA added that the grants are designed to help independent businesses build and modernize processing facilities and equipment, adopt new technologies and train workers along with other business needs.
Eligible projects for this round of grants can receive $250,000 to $10 million. Applicants must be able to cover 70% of their total project cost, according to the agency.
Companies can submit their application to grants.gov until Nov. 22, 2023.
This latest announcement comes after a string of meat and poultry investment opportunities were offered by the federal government.
In April, the agency expanded the Indigenous Animals Harvesting and Meat Processing Grant Program and the Local Meat Capacity Grant Program, which could use up to $125 million.
Independent processors also received a chance for $89 million of investment from the USDA in March in the form of loans.
The funds would come into the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP), which provides grants for intermediary lenders who finance meat and poultry processing start-ups, expansions and operations.
In fall 2022, the first round of MPILP funding totaled $75 million in grants and was distributed to eight nonprofit lenders across seven states.