An additional $21.9 million is being invested to help strengthen the resiliency of the U.S. meat supply chain. The investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is being made through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG). Administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the program has provided a total of $54.6 million in support. The latest MPIRG award is for 111 grant projects aimed at helping strengthen and develop new market opportunities.
“The Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants will help meat and poultry processors make necessary facility improvements, expand their businesses, and strengthen the nation’s food supply chain,” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “These grants are one part of USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives and will contribute to our efforts to transform our food system.”
The MPIRG has provided support for projects in 37 states. Several of the awarded projects are for expanding overall processing capacity. A project in Garden Grove, California seeks to add equipment and make facility upgrades to increase production. A small processing plant in Locust Grove, Oklahoma will also use the grant funding to modernize the operation to better comply with Food Safety and Inspection Service protocols. The majority of projects received the maximum grant award of $200,000. One particular priority for USDA has been to increase opportunities for smaller and midsized operations to better support underserved areas of the country.
Upgrades to facilities will assist with obtaining a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. AMS is also encouraging grant recipients and other eligible operations to request further assistance through the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program. The program was launched in March of 2022 and helps connects industry members to a network of resources and expertise.