WASHINGTON – The new Meat and Poultry Inspection and Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program will have $55.2 million of competitive grant funding according to the US Dept. of Agriculture. The new program comes from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. 

“We are building capacity and increasing economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Through MPIRG, meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities can 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.”

The agency said it wants grant applications that focus on improving meat and poultry slaughter and processing capacity and efficiency. 

It also encourages 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 include commercial businesses, cooperatives, and tribal enterprises.

The planning for a Federal Grant of Inspection (PFGI) is for processing facilities currently in operation and are working toward Federal Inspection.  

MPIRG’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Compliance project is only for processing facilities located in states with a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) CIS program. These states currently include Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin. Applicants must be working toward CIS program compliance requirements to operate a state-inspected facility.