USDA: $55 million will help increase capacity, expand access in meat and poultry inspection operations
The USDA says $55.2 million in competitive grant funding is available through the new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the USDA is building capacity and increasing economic opportunity for small- and mid-sized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country. He says the meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities will be able to cover the costs for necessary improvements to achieve a Federal Grant of Inspection or to operate under a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program.
USDA says MPIRG’s Planning for a Federal Grant of Inspection (PFGI) project is for processing facilities in operation and working toward Federal inspection. The program’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Compliance project is only open to processing facilities located in states with a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) CIS program. These states currently include Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, North Dakota, and Vermont.
USDA is encouraging grant applications that focus on improving meat and poultry slaughter and processing capacity, developing new and expanding existing markets, and better meeting consumer and producer demand. It also suggests applications that maintain strong inspection and food safety standards, obtain a larger commercial presence, and increase access to slaughter or processing facilities for smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, and veteran producers.
Applications are due by August 2. Click here for more information.
The new program is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.