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Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt to announce that $23.6 million in competitive grant funding is available to meat processors through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Program and a new technical assistance program established to help meat producers navigate the grant application process and to assist grant recipients throughout their projects.

“I’m honored to join Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt in announcing grant opportunities that will help Iowa’s small and locally owned processing facilities expand their operations and increase efficiency,” said Rep. Axne. “The last few years have shown us how fragile our food supply chain is, and I’ve been working to create more competition and transparency in the markets for our family farmers. This grant program will not only help the small processors in our rural communities, but will give producers more options, ensuring a fair price for their cattle. I was proud to vote for these funds and I’m thankful for Secretary Vilsack and Under Secretary Moffitt’s leadership in working for family farmers and rural communities.”

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“This is a true partnership to help meat and poultry processors and grant applicants diversify processing ownership throughout the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Meat and poultry processing is a complex sector that requires significant planning and forethought to manage economic viability concurrently with worker, food, and environmental safety. We are pleased to partner with these initial organizations, given their deep technical expertise and demonstrated service to underserved communities, as part of our support for fairer, more competitive, and resilient meat and poultry supply chains.”

Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA)

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has established cooperative agreements with three non-profit organizations to coordinate and provide technical assistance utilizing a wide range of expertise and outreach strategies. These organizations will also establish a national network of support for meat and poultry grant applicants to navigate the application process, and to assist grant recipients throughout their projects.

Taking the lead role, the Flower Hill Institute, a native owned nonprofit based out of the Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico, will serve as the MPPTA Technical Assistance Coordinator for this multi-year program. In close cooperation with AMS, they will connect USDA grant applicants and grant-funded project managers to the experts best suited to support a project’s needs. They are joined by Oregon State University’s Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network and the Intertribal Agricultural Council. USDA is also pursuing agreements with the American Association of Meat Processors, the American Meat Science Association, and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute to expand assistance and provide the depth and capacity needed for meat and poultry projects nationwide. All MPPTA organizations will use both in-house resources and their connections within the industry, academia, and state and federal government to connect stakeholders to four distinct technical assistance scopes: federal grant application management; business development and financial planning; meat and poultry processing technical and operational support; and supply chain development.

To learn more about the MPPTA program, or to initiate a request for technical assistance under this program, visit the AMS webpage https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/mppta. For information on MPIRG, MPPEP, and USDA’s other Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Initiatives, visit www.usda.gov/meat.

Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants (MPIRG)

AMS is accepting applications now through May 24, 2022 for a second round of MPIRG program funding totaling $23.6 million.

USDA encourages grant applications that focus on 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.

Eligible meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities must be operational and not have a Federal Grant of Inspection or comply with the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program at the time of application. These entities include commercial businesses, cooperatives, and tribal enterprises. MPIRG’s Planning for a Federal Grant of Inspection project type is for processing facilities currently in operation and are working toward Federal inspection. Applicants can be located anywhere in the states and territories. MPIRG’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment Compliance project type is only for processing facilities located in states with a Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) CIS program. These states currently include Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin. Applicants must be working toward CIS program compliance requirements to operate a state-inspected facility or make a good faith effort toward doing so. Potential applicants should contact FSIS to determine the expenses necessary to obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or comply with the CIS program.

Applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 24, 2022. Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission of the grant application. Read more in AMS Late and Non-Responsive Application Policy.

Author: Press Release

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