COLUMBUS, OHIO – Top government officials in Ohio announced on Feb. 16 that 40 livestock and poultry producers would receive $10 million in grants to help expand capacity and meet the demand for meat processing services.
The announcement from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted said each company would receive $250,000 with half of the funds disbursed before projects are started and the other half awarded after the companies show the initial funds were spent on eligible costs.
“The supply chain issues that our country is facing have put increased pressure on our meat processors, and they can’t keep up with the demand,” DeWine said. “By awarding this money, we can help these Ohio businesses enhance their operations to strengthen the local meat supply chain and reduce reliance on out-of-state processors.”
Estimates from the state officials said the money would help create 830 jobs. The grants will also help retain 300 jobs and nearly $30 million in payroll.
The Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program became part of the state’s 2022-2023 operating budget and was passed by the general assembly in 2021.
Some program funding will be used to execute processing efficiencies, expand or construct facilities at existing sites, assist in training and certification, and improve harvest services.
The Ohio Department of Development administered the grant program along with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. According to the agencies, 143 applicants requested more than $28 million. Grants were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible businesses.
“Ohio’s meat processing industry is incredibly important to our food supply chain,” said Dorothy Pelanda, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “These grants will provide some much-needed help to facilities that are critical to maintaining an abundant food supply.”
The list of companies receiving grants can be found here.