The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $55.2 million in competitive funding will be available through the new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program. The new program is being funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
“We are building capacity and increasing economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country.” Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “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 a variety of aspects. They include 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.
Applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov by August 2, 2021. AMS offers webinars for applicants to help walk them through the request for applications. For more information visit the MPIRG webpage.