USDA announces resources for meat and poultry industry
By: Sydney Sheffield
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced additional resources to increase and expand meat and poultry processing capacities. Up to $23.6 million is available to processors for technical assistance through the Meat, Poultry Readiness Grant program (MPIRG program).
The MPIRG program assists currently operational meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities in obtaining a Federal Grant of Inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), or operating as a State-inspected facility that is compliant with FMIA or PPIA under a respective Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program. Processors and applicants involved with the MPIRG program and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) can access this technical assistance through the newly announced resources. MPPEP provides grants to help eligible processors expand their capacity and encourage competition in the industry.
“This is a true partnership to help meat and poultry processors and grant applicants diversify processing ownership throughout the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a USDA press release. “Meat and poultry processing is a complex sector that requires significant planning and forethought to manage economic viability concurrently with workers, food, and environmental safety. We are pleased to partner with these initial organizations, given their deep technical expertise and demonstrated service to underserved communities, as part of our support for fairer, more competitive, and resilient meat and poultry supply chains.”
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting applications through May 24, 2022, for the $23.6 million MPIRG program funding. USDA is also extending the MPPEP application deadline to May 11, 2022. The USDA encourages grant applications that focus on:
Improving meat and poultry slaughter and processing capacity and efficiency
Developing new and expanding existing markets
Increasing capacity and better meeting consumer and producer demand
Maintaining strong inspection and food safety standards
Obtaining a larger commercial presence
Increasing access to slaughter or processing facilities for smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, and veteran producers