WASHINGTON, August 31, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that an additional $21.9 million is being Funding was provided to 111 grants through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG), bringing total funding to $54.6 million. This year’s awards will fund projects in 37 states. The funding will help strengthen and develop new market opportunities for U.S. meat and poultry processors. To further these efforts, AMS also encourages MPIRG winners and eligible participants of the USDA Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Program to request assistance through the Meat and Poultry Processing Capability Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA). Launched in March 2022, MPPTA connects participants to a nationwide network of resources and professionals.
“The Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant will help meat and poultry processors make necessary facility improvements, expand their operations, and strengthen the nation’s food supply chain,” Agriculture Minister Tom Vilsack said. “These grants are part of USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Program and will aid our efforts to transform the food system.”
“USDA continues to build capacity and increase economic opportunity for small and medium-sized meat and poultry producers across the country,” added Jenny Lester Moffitt, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
Examples of projects funded in this round include:
- Local LG OK, a small processing plant in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, will use MPIRG funds to modernize, expand and comply with Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) protocols. The funding will allow the plant to buy new machinery to increase weekly production in rural and inaccessible areas.
- Fork Food Lab, a shared-use kitchen incubator in Portland, Maine, will use MPIRG funds to expand a 42,000 sq. ft. facility to meet Federal Grants of Inspection (GOI) requirements. The project is helping Fork Food Lab procure specialized equipment, helping five processors obtain federal GOIs for wholesale distribution, supporting start-up operations, and providing ongoing training and technical assistance to wholesale-oriented processors.
- The Wall Meat Processing Plant in Wall, SD has been awarded MPIRG funding to purchase equipment to improve humane handling and increase food safety measures and efficiency. The project will help the facility seamlessly provide protein manufacturing services operations to its producers and customers under the Cooperative Interstate Transportation Program (CIS). Participation in the CIS program will open up a larger market for the factory and add another resource to the food supply chain.
Facility improvements and expansions funded through MPIRG will help processors receive federal inspection grants or qualify for state International Cooperative Transport Program. Obtaining a federal inspection license or operating under the Interstate Cooperative Transportation Program allows meat and poultry processors to move product across states, develop new markets, increase capacity and better meet the needs of consumers and producers in the supply chain.
MPIRG recipients and other eligible participants in the USDA Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Initiative, especially small and underserved stakeholders, are encouraged to use the Extensive technical assistance provided by MPPTA. AMS has signed cooperative agreements with six organizations to form the MPPTA Network, which has provided invaluable assistance to more than 300 businesses and organizations in the United States and its territories since it launched earlier this year.
For more information on MPPTA and related organizations and to initiate a request for assistance, visit AMS’s MPPTA webpage. To view this year’s list of MPIRG winners, visit the MPRIG Awards page. For more information on MPIRG, visit AMS’s MPIRG web page.
USDA impacts the lives of all Americans in many positive ways every day. During the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the U.S. food system, focusing more on more resilient local and regional food production, reducing costs for American households, creating a fairer market for all producers, ensuring Access to safe, healthy and nutritious food. All communities, using climate-smart food and forestry practices to build new markets and revenue streams for farmers and producers, making historic investments in rural America’s infrastructure and clean energy capabilities, and committing by removing systemic barriers and building workforces Fairness across the sector is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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