This page will highlight different state-level grant or loan programs that can be utilized to start new meat processing plants, upgrade existing ones, or fund other niche meat supply chain projects. Some of these are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and others are longer standing programs designed to incentivize local and regional production, processing, and marketing.
If you don’t see your state listed here, you may want to contact your state department of agriculture to see if they could start something similar. It may take a significant lobbying effort on the part of many producers and legislators, but it won’t happen unless they hear from you.
Listed in alphabetical order by state. This page will be updated regularly as new programs are added.
Arkansas: Meat and Poultry Processing Grant Program was created to support new and existing meat and poultry processing facilities with fewer than 200 employees, address supply chain disruptions, and mitigate health and environmental impacts as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Grant awards may reimburse up to 90 percent of eligible expenses for workforce assistance, equipment, capital improvements, and other eligible costs incurred from March 1, 2020 through Nov. 30, 2020. Applications are due by Sept. 30, 2020 and can be found here.
Indiana: Meat Processing Expansion and Development Grant Program was just launched with $4 million of CARES ACT funding. These funds, which will be a one-to-one match on investments, can be used for equipment purchases, personal protective equipment, food safety equipment, facility upgrades, employee training and a variety of other necessities. The program administered by ISDA would reimburse up to 50% of eligible expenses, with a maximum award of $150,000. Following the federal
guidance, grants would only reimburse eligible costs incurred from March 1 through Dec. 30. Learn more here.
Iowa: Meat Processing Expansion and Development Program has up to $2 million dollars to support small and local meat processors. Eligible meat and poultry processors can use the recovery funds for business improvements, direct-to-consumer food marketing or continuing education programs. The business improvement grant will reimburse meat and poultry processors for expenses incurred (up to $50,000) to purchase or upgrade equipment. Eligible expenses must allow the facility to increase its processing capacity to accommodate the increased demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, these upgrades may help a custom-exempt processing plant prepare to become an official plant, or help an official plant make the upgrades necessary to qualify for the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. They also have a special funding program for the cost of taking a HACCP class. Learn more at this link.
Kansas: Securing Local Food Systems grant program was created to support small meat processing facilities, food processors, food banks, local direct-to-consumer producers and retail outlets to address supply chain disruptions as a result of the pandemic. The program is based on the need to increase capacity of local food systems. Specifically, small meat processors can apply for a grant to fund expansion of cold storage, equipment upgrades and updates or expansion of processing areas. KLA
made clear the need for assisting small processors in discussions earlier this year with the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Grant applications should be made for capacity-related improvements since March 1 through Dec. 30. To learn more and apply, click on this link.
Kentucky: The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF) Meat Processing Investment Program provides funding for meat processors who are currently or plant to become USDA certified to financially incentivize economical expansion of businesses to process Kentucky beef, dairy, pork, lamb, goat, and poultry products. Three tiers of funding levels at $20K, $37.5K, and $250K. See this document for details.
Minnesota: AGRI Value-Added Grant Program helps Minnesota processors add value to Minnesota agricultural products by helping underwrite feasibility studies and the purchase of equipment. Individuals, farmers, businesses, agricultural cooperatives, or local government entities are eligible to apply. You must explain how your project will increase the sales of Minnesota agricultural products and/or increase market access. The program aims to fund projects that impact many farmers. Funding up to $150K. See this link for details.
Minnesota: AGRI Livestock Processing Rapid Response Mini-Grants helps processors and certain producers respond to market issues causes by COVID-19. The program aims to increase slaughter, processing, and storage capacity for livestock products until existing markets return or new markets are developed. Funding up to $5K. See this link for details.
Missouri: The Meat and Poultry Processing Grant Program has up to $20 million dollars to assist federally inspected, state inspected and custom exempt slaughter and processing facilities who employ fewer than 200 employees. Both existing facilities and new facilities that will soon be in operation are eligible to apply. Three tiers of funding available. Applications due by August 31, 2020. Learn more at this link.
Montana: The Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant (MMPIG) was created to aid small and medium-sized meat processors in responding to the COVID-19 crisis through the adaptation and expansion of meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana. Funding up to $150K. See this link for details.
Nevada: Agriculture Adaptability and Recovery program has funding up to $15K per business. Funding will be distributed to applicants until expended through Dec. 15, 2020, and funding to an individual producer or business cannot exceed $15,000 in combined assistance. Eligible applicants include agriculture employers or producers; farmers markets and food hubs;
USDA-approved meat processing facilities; or breweries, wineries, and distilleries that use at least 51 percent Nevada grown product. First come, first serve funding until all funds expended by Dec. 15, 2020. Request for applications can be found here.
North Carolina: Called the Increasing Meat Production and Capacity Grant program, this multi-million dollar program will support facility expansion, fixtures, on-site job training or equipment that will expand animal throughput, processing capacity, the amount or type of products produced, or processing speed for plants that process for NC producers. Restricted to small and mid-scale plants only. Applications are due August 12, 2020. More information can be found here.
North Dakota: The North Dakota Meat Processing Plant Cost-Share Program was started in May 2020 with funding from the coronavirus relief bill to help state-inspected and custom exempt meat processing plants upgrade their facilities and equipment to meet increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will reimburse processors a portion of expenses dependent on the total amount of eligible applications received and approved through the program. See this link for details.
Oklahoma: The Food Supply Stability Plan is offering grants of up to $1 million dollars for meat processing plants to build, renovate, expand, or purchase equipment. New and existing meat processing businesses will be eligible to apply
for these grants to help construct new facilities or expand existing facilities to add to the state’s overall processing capacity. This could include registered custom-exempt, state inspected, federally inspected establishments. Publicly traded companies are not eligible to apply. Applications can be found here and are due by August 14, 2020.
Pennsylvania: The Very Small Meat Processor Federal Inspection Reimbursement grant program provides funding to reimburse some portion of the costs associated with meeting federal inspection and certification guidelines during the planning and start-up periods for a very small meat processor operating within this commonwealth. Funding up to $50K. See this link for details.
Vermont: Agriculture and Working Lands Assistance Program- Agricultural Producer and Processor Assistance is open to eligible farmers, meat and poultry processors, commercial slaughterhouses, farmers’ markets, value-added food product
businesses, forest products businesses, and producer associations. All compensable losses and costs must have been incurred since March 1, 2020 and be related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Learn more at this link.
Washington: Meat Processor Pandemic Relief Grant is available to help small-scale meat producers cover costs of improving
infrastructure and operating capacity in response to the coronavirus pandemic. WSDA is accepting grant applications for expenses up to $150,000. The relief grants can be used for expenses incurred from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020. Processors with 250 or fewer employees may apply. Washington State has allocated $5 million dollars in COVID-19 CARES Act
relief funds for this project. Applications due by Nov. 16, 2020. Learn more here.
Wyoming: Meat Processing Expansion Grant Program just launched, with applications opening on September 15, 2020. Funds are first come, first serve and can be used primarily for expansion activities. The grant is based on the need to increase capacity of Wyomings’ local food supply chain and to address meat shortages at retail locations and food banks within Wyoming. Increased capacity will add resilience to the food for human consumption supply chain and will ultimately benefit consumers. Grant applications should be made for capacity-related improvements since April 1, 2020 through Dec. 15, 2020. Learn more here.