MADISON, WIS.-The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced five meat processors would receive grants in 2022.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Randy Romanski, DATCP secretary, said the grants are set up to improve long-term viability in the livestock industry.

“Wisconsin’s agriculture industry isn’t just core to who we are as a state but to our statewide economy, with meat processors playing a critical role,” Evers said. “I am proud our budget investments will help meat processors across the state expand their businesses and operations, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure this industry grows and thrives for years to come.” 

The funding available for this year was a total of $200,000 with a maximum of $50,000 allowed for each project. Grant recipients were selected through a competitive review process and are required to provide a match of 100% of the grant amount. 

Evers said he initially proposed a $2 million investment for meat processor grants in his budget, but that amount was ultimately cut through the budget process.

“Our diverse and resilient meat processors are a vitally important part of Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agriculture industry,” Romanski said. “We need to invest in our strengths. These grants will invest in our meat processing businesses, help strengthen the industry, and help the industry modernize and expand to meet the needs of farmers and consumers.”

State government also stated that the grants are available through the 2021-23 biennial budget. This included an annual investment to help meat processors increase throughput. 

DATCP received 100 applications with more than $4.4 million in grant requests. The five grant recipients and their planned projects include: 

  • Nordik Meats of Viroqua which received $25,000 to expand frozen storage, purchase of a walk-in freezer unit and forklift and increase labor.
  • Paulie’s Chop Shop of Luxemburg received $50,000 for the construction of a new butcher shop, training and purchasing numerous pieces of equipment.
  • JM Watkins in Plum City received $50,000 for the construction of a new building and purchase of a new smoker.
  • Crescent Meats in Cadott received $50,000 to add more than 19,000 square feet to the existing facility.
  • Sorg Farm Packing in Darien received $25,000 for the reconstruction of an existing carcass cooler and freezer. It also will help with expansion of the processing and cutting room.