USDA announces more resources to increase and expand meat and poultry processing capacity

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Technical support now available for processors; $23.6 million available for meat and poultry preparation grant program

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2022 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the launch of the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance (MPPTA) program to provide technical assistance to grant applicants for meat and poultry and grant-funded projects. Processors and applicants involved in the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG) and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) can access this technical assistance. The USDA also announced that it is now accepting applications for $23.6 million in competitive grants available through the MPIRG program.

Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA)

As part of the Biden-⁠Harris Action Plan for a fairer, more competitive, and more resilient meat and poultry supply chain, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has established cooperative agreements with three nonprofit organizations to coordinate and provide technical assistance using a wide range of expertise and outreach strategies. These organizations will also establish a national Meat and Poultry Grant Applicant Support Network to navigate the application process and support grant recipients throughout their project.

“This is a true partnership to help meat and poultry processors and grant applicants diversify processing ownership across the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak. “Meat and poultry processing is a complex industry that requires significant planning and foresight to manage economic viability alongside worker, food and environmental safety. We are delighted to partner with these seed organizations, given their deep technical expertise and demonstrated service to underserved communities, as part of our support for fairer, more competitive meat and poultry supply chains. and resilient.

Taking the lead role, the Flower Hill Institute, an Indigenous-owned nonprofit based in Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, will serve as the MPPTA technical assistance coordinator for this multi-year program. Working closely with AMS, they will connect USDA grant applicants and grant-funded project managers with the experts best suited to meet a project’s needs. They are joined by Oregon State University’s Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network and the Intertribal Agricultural Council. The USDA is also pursuing agreements with the American Association of Meat Processors, the American Meat Science Association, and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute to expand support and provide the depth and capacity needed for meat and poultry projects at national scale. All MPPTA organizations will use both internal resources and their relationships within industry, academia, and state and federal governments to connect stakeholders to four distinct areas of technical assistance: grant application management federal; business development and financial planning; technical and operational support for meat and poultry processing; and supply chain development.

To learn more about the MPPTA program or to initiate a request for technical support under this program, visit the AMS webpage www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/mppta. For more information on the MPIRG, MPPEP, and other USDA meat and poultry supply chain initiatives, visit www.usda.gov/meat.

Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants (MPIRG)

AMS is accepting applications through May 24, 2022 for a second round of MPIRG program funding totaling $23.6 million.

“We are building on the success of the first cycle of our MPIRG program to build capacity and increase economic opportunity for small and medium meat and poultry processors and producers across the country,” Secretary Vilsack said. “In the first round of the MPIRG program, we provided $32 million in funding to cover the costs of improvements needed to obtain a federal inspection grant under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the on poultry product inspection, or to operate under a state cooperative program. And the second round will help us continue to help processors grow.”

The USDA encourages grant applications focused on improving meat and poultry slaughtering and processing capacity and efficiency; develop new markets and expand existing markets; increase capacity and better respond to consumer and producer demand; maintaining strong inspection and food safety standards; achieve greater commercial presence; and increase access to slaughter or processing facilities for small farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers and seasoned producers.

Eligible meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities must be operational and not have a federal inspection grant or comply with the Cooperative Interstate Shipping Program at the time of application. These entities include commercial enterprises, cooperatives and tribal enterprises. MPIRG Planning a Type of Federal Inspection Grant Project is for processing facilities that are currently in operation and are in the process of being inspected by the federal government. Applicants can be located anywhere in the states and territories. MPIRG Type of Cooperative Interstate Shipping Compliance Project is intended only for processing facilities located in states with a Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) CIS program. These states currently include Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Applicants must be working toward CIS program compliance requirements to operate a state-inspected facility or make a good faith effort to do so. Prospective applicants should contact FSIS to determine the expenses necessary to obtain a federal inspection grant or comply with the CIS program.

Applications must be submitted electronically via www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 24, 2022. Any grant applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented them from to submit their grant application in a timely manner. Learn more in AMS Late and Unresponsive Application Policy (PDF, 246 KB).

AMS offers webinars for new applicants to guide them through the application process while providing helpful tips on what made former grantees successful. Additionally, grant management specialists are ready to answer all questions and incoming emails during normal business hours. For more information on grant eligibility and previously funded projects, visit MPIRG webpageor contact us at mpirg@usda.gov.

The USDA is also extending until May 11, 2022, the application deadline for the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP), which provides funds to expand meat and poultry processing capacity. For more information, applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to visit the MPPEP website: rd.usda.gov/mppep. Questions can be submitted through the website or sent to MPPEP@usda.gov.

The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the US food system with greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe food, healthy and nutritious in all communities, creating new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in the rural America, and committing to equity across the department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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