DES MOINES, IOWA – On Nov. 9, Iowa’s Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced that more than 200 local meat and poultry processors would receive Meat Processing and Expansion grants.

The funding will be used to upgrade equipment, participate in food safety certification training or develop direct-to-consumer sales strategies. The grants became available after Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds allocated $4 million from the state Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

“The demand at local meat processors skyrocketed after COVID-19 caused disruptions in the food supply chain,” said Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. “These businesses extended their hours and added shifts to help local farmers but many of them are still running at capacity. The CARES Act funds will help these processors expand their operations to serve more producers in their communities and give them opportunities to explore new markets for their products.”

Later in the announcement, the Iowa’s Department of Agriculture said 109 meat and poultry processors will receive grants to purchase or upgrade equipment. Eighty-five livestock producers will add direct marketing grants to develop that service or purchase equipment to help transition to a direct-to-consumer sales strategy. Continuing education tuition grants will also be made available to 10 meat and poultry establishments.

The complete list of Iowa companies who will receive the funding can be found here.