WASHINGTON — On Aug. 31, the US Department of Agriculture announced an additional $21.9 million of funding through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant program (MPIRG), bringing total funding to $54.6 million. This year, 111 grants will fund projects across 37 states.

“The Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants will help meat and poultry processors make necessary facility improvements, expand their businesses and strengthen the nation’s food supply chain,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “These grants are one part of USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives and will contribute to our efforts to transform our food system.”

Examples of projects funded in this round include:

  • Homegrown LG OK, a small processing plant in Locust Grove, Okla., will modernize, expand and comply with Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) protocols.
  • The Fork Food Lab, a shared-use kitchen incubator in Portland, Maine, will expand into a 42,000-square-foot facility that meets the requirements for a Federal Grant of Inspection (GOI).
  • The Wall Meat Processing plant in Wall, SD, will purchase equipment to improve humane handling and enhance food safety measures and efficiencies.

A comprehensive list of award winners can be found on the MPIRG award page.

USDA intends these improvements and expansions funded through MPIRG will help processors obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program so that they can ship products across state lines, acquire new markets and increase capacity.

“USDA continues to build capacity and increase economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry producers across the country,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.