Small meat processor: USDA grant program needs work


Small meat processor: USDA grant program needs work

A small meat processor says he’d like to apply for the USDA’s latest grant program, but the application process is too burdensome.

Charlie Emswiler with Wahoo Meat Locker in Nebraska said there are a lot of stipulations connected to the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program announced last month.

“It’s almost not feasible for the small processor in the amount of time they gave you,” he said. “By the time the grant came out, by the time it’s due, what they demand, what you have to do to get this grant – it’s almost impossible.”

He said there is too much information to gather and provide to meet the application deadline in April.

Emswieler tells Brownfield processing demand continues to grow, and he would use the funds to expand his business. 

“We could better our equipment, make things faster on our equipment side,” he said. “That would benefit [us] tremendously. And also, to be able to up production, it takes freezer space, it takes cooler space so, it all – kind of – goes hand in hand.”

Emswieler made his comments to a group of reporters on Tuesday’s Ag Industry Tours with Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Ag Director Steve Wellman.