Over 200 Iowa Small Meat and Poultry Processors Awarded CARES Act Funds

On Nov. 9, more than 200 local meat and poultry processors in Iowa were awarded Meat Processing and Expansion Grants from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Through these grants, awardees may purchase or upgrade equipment, develop a direct-to-consumer sales strategy, or participate in food safety certification training. 

These grants were made possible from $4 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding allocated by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship noted.

“The demand at local meat processors skyrocketed after COVID-19 caused disruptions in the food supply chain. These businesses extended their hours and added shifts to help local farmers but many of them are still running at capacity,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said in the release. “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.”

  • 109 meat and poultry processors will receive business improvement grants to purchase or upgrade their equipment. According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, these improvements must allow the facility to increase its processing capacity to accommodate the increased demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, these upgrades may help a custom-exempt processing plant prepare to become an official plant, or help an official plant make the upgrades necessary to qualify for the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.
  • 85 Iowa livestock producers will receive direct marketing grants to produce marketing materials, develop services or purchase equipment to help transition to a direct-to-consumer sales strategy. Recipients of this grant must direct-market less than 200 livestock or 2,000 poultry per year.
  • 10 owners and/or employees of state-inspected and licensed meat and poultry establishments have been awarded tuition grants to participate in continuing education programs such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification.

Read more here.


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