Wallaces Farmer

Local Iowa meat processors awarded grantsLocal Iowa meat processors awarded grants

Funding will help small meat and poultry processors grow their business.

November 12, 2020

2 Min Read
Hogs in pen
LOCAL FOCUS: Small Iowa meat processors can use grants made available through funding from the CARES Act. Farm Progress

More than 200 local meat and poultry processors in Iowa have been awarded Meat Processing and Expansion grants through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. These small businesses can use the funds to purchase or upgrade equipment, develop a direct-to-consumer sales strategy, or participate in food safety certification training.

The grants are possible thanks to $4 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The CARES funding for Iowa is allocated by Gov. Kim Reynolds. The Iowa Department of Ag on Nov. 9 released the list of the 204 small meat and poultry processor grant recipients.

Demand at local meat processors skyrocketed after COVID-19 caused disruptions in the food supply chain earlier this year. These smaller businesses extended their hours and added shifts to help local farmers whose inventory of hogs and cattle were backing up due to pandemic-related shutdowns at the facilities of large packing companies.

Helping local businesses

“Today, many of the small processors of livestock and poultry are still running at capacity,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “The CARES Act funds will help these smaller processors expand their operations to serve more producers in their communities and give them opportunities to explore new markets for their products.”

The grants were given in the following areas:

Business improvement. Of those who applied, 109 meat and poultry processors will receive grants to purchase or upgrade their equipment. These improvements must allow the facility to increase its processing capacity to accommodate the increased demands brought on by the pandemic. In some cases, these upgrades may help a custom-exempt processing plant prepare to become an official plant, or help an official plant make the upgrades necessary to qualify for the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.

Direct marketing. Also, 85 Iowa livestock producers will receive direct-marketing grants to produce marketing materials, develop services, or purchase equipment to help transition to a direct-to-consumer sales strategy. This may include developing an online sales platform or an alternative sales channel. The recipients of this grant must direct-market less than 200 livestock or 2,000 poultry per year.

Tuition. Owners or employees of 10 state-inspected and licensed meat and poultry establishments in Iowa have been awarded tuition grants to participate in continuing education programs. The money must be used to enroll in an accredited meat sciences program and may be used for food safety training, like Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point certification.

A complete list of the Meat Processing and Expansion grant awardees is available at iowaagriculture.gov/grants.

Source: IDALS, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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