USDA to accept applications in meat, poultry processing programs
The Agriculture Department today (March 25, 2022) announced the launch of the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA) to provide technical assistance to meat and poultry grant applicants and grant-funded projects.
USDA also announced it is now accepting applications for $23.6 million in competitive grant funding available through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program.
“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.”
USDA said the Flower Hill Institute, a Native American-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 the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service, the Flower Hill Institute will connect grant applicants and grant-funded project managers to the experts best suited to support a project’s needs.
The institute will be 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.
Of the second round of MPIRG program funding totaling $23.6 million, Vilsack said, “We are building on the success of the first round of our MPIRG program to build capacity and increase economic opportunities for small and mid-sized meat and poultry processors and producers around the country.”
“In the MPIRG program’s first round, we provided $32 million in funding to cover the costs for necessary improvements 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. And the second round will help us continue to help processors grow.”
–The Hagstrom Report
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