USDA has announced $55.2 million in competitive grant funding available through the new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program. The new program is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
This announcement is part of the Build Back Better initiative, a commitment to invest more than $4 billion to strengthen the food system, support food production, improved processing, investments in distribution and aggregation, and market opportunities.
“We are building capacity and increasing economic opportunity for small and mid-sized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country,” says Tom Vilsack, the U.S. secretary of agriculture. “Through MPIRG, meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities can cover the costs for necessary improvements to achieve a federal grant of inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or to operate under a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.”
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, and increasing access to slaughter or processing facilities for smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, and veteran producers. Eligible meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities include commercial businesses, cooperatives, and tribal enterprises.
Applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, August 2, 2021.