The USDA recently announced the opening of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) to support the expansion of meat processing capacity nationwide.
The MPPEP will award $150 million in competitive grants to eligible meat and poultry processors. The maximum award amount is $25 million or 20 percent of total project costs, whichever is less. There is no minimum award amount. Applications are due April 11, 2022.
This first round of grants will support at least 15 facilities that are prepared to break ground. It is expected that a second round of $225 million in grant funding will be available in the next few months, including support for small and very small federally inspected plants.
How can funds be used?
Grant funds can be used to expand processing capacity by supporting activities such as the following:
- building new processing facilities or modernizing or expanding existing facilities
- developing, installing, or modernizing equipment and technology
- ensuring compliance with packaging and labeling requirements
- upholding occupational and other safety requirements
- modifying facilities or equipment to protect food safety
- paying for voluntary grading services on value-added processed products
- offsetting costs associated with becoming an inspected facility
- supporting workforce recruitment, training, and retention
In addition to the grant funding to expand processing capacity, USDA has earmarked $40 million in support for workforce development and training programs and $25 million to provide technical assistance and guidance to current and future MPPEP applicants.
For more information and application materials, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mppep. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 11, 2022.