The Department of Agriculture Monday announced $55.2 million in competitive grant funding available through the new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant program. The new program is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack states through the program, “We are building capacity and increasing economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country.” USDA encourages grant applications that focus on improving meat and poultry slaughter and processing capacity and efficiency and developing new and expanding existing markets. Further USDA seeks applications that increase capacity and better meeting consumer and producer demand along with maintaining strong inspection and food safety standards.
Eligible meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities include commercial businesses, cooperatives, and tribal enterprises. MPIRG’s Planning for a Federal Grant of Inspection project is for processing facilities currently in operation and are working toward Federal inspection. Whereas, MPIRG’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment Compliance project is only for processing facilities located in states with a Food Safety and Inspection Service program.