USDA updates information for meat and poultry producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released information intended to brief meat and poultry producers on the recent activities around the USDA Meat and Poultry Processing initiatives for creating fairer, more competitive, and more resilient meat and poultry supply chains.

MPPEP application deadline extended to May 11
March 25, Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Department is extending the application deadline for the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program to May 11, to accommodate challenges with System for Award Management registration, which must be completed prior to filing an application. USDA encourages interested processors to initiate their applications as soon as possible.

For more information see rd.usda.gov/newsroom/news-release/usda-extends-may-11-application-deadline-meat-and-poultry-processing-expansion-program-funding. Additionally, on April 8, a bulletin was sent to reflect clarifications made to the Request for Applications that originally published on February 24. No additional requirements have been added for applying to the program. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit grants.gov and view the summary document that explains the clarification by section.

MPIRG Round 2 applications due May 24
The Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting applications now through May 24, for a second round of Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants program funding totaling $23.6 million. With this grant funding, meat and poultry processing businesses can cover the costs for improvements such as expanding existing facilities, modernizing processing equipment and meeting packaging, labeling, and food safety requirements needed to achieve a Federal Grant of Inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or to operate under a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. These changes will allow these facilities to serve more customers in more markets.

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For more information see usda.gov/media/press-releases/2022/03/25/usda-announces-more-resources-increase-and-expand-meat-and-poultry.

USDA Guaranteed Loans for Meat and Poultry Processing
The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program is a part of USDA’s Build Back Better initiative to strengthen critical supply chains and our food system. With a total of $1.4 billion available, this program guarantees loans of up to $40 million for qualified lenders to finance food systems projects, specifically for the start-up or expansion of activities in the middle of the food supply chain. 19 percent of funds available under the program are set aside exclusively for meat and poultry processors until June 7, at which point other types of projects may compete for such funds as well.

For more information see www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/12/09/usda-launches-loan-guarantee-program-create-more-market.

Meat and poultry processing technical assistance
USDA’s Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity- Technical Assistance Program ensures that participants in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives can access full-range technical assistance to support their project development and success. These supply chain initiatives–including the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program — support the growth of domestic processing capacity and the ability of independent facilities to serve more customers in more markets.

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USDA’s AMS has established a nationwide MPPTA network of support focusing on four key areas, or scopes
Federal Grant Application Management
Navigating federal grants processes and procedures, from pre-award applications processes through post-award grant management compliance;

Business development and financial planning
Business and financial planning resources, market intelligence, and project/concept feasibility analyses;

Meat and poultry processing technical and operation support
Advice and resources to support the operational needs–including workforce development–of processing plant development and utilization; and

Supply chain development
Support for the development and maintenance of successful supply chain and marketing relationships—between suppliers, processors, distributors, and customers.

For more information see usda.gov/media/press-releases/2022/03/25/usda-announces-more-resources-increase-and-expand-meat-and-poultry.

To submit a technical assistance request for your MPIRG application or currently funded project, MPPEP application, or other meat and poultry project, \contact our network’s lead TA coordinator at flowerhill.institute/usda-mppta

If you have not already, sign up for posts and communications at AMS Updates on Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants and Meat and Poultry Processing Technical Assistance, public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAMS/subscriber/new?qsp=USDAAMS_5 for updates from the Agricultural Marketing Service

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For Rural Development Updates on Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Grants and USDA Guaranteed Loans for Meat and Poultry Processing see public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDARD/subscriber/new?email=&commit=Sign+Up for updates from Rural Development.

More information and all these updates can be found at usda.gov/meat.