USDA Rural Development announced the availability of $123 million in grant funding for meat processors through Phase 2 of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program—aka MPPEP II.

This program’s goal is to expand capacity for small- to medium-sized meat processors—so more animals can be processed more quickly, closer to where they were raised. If you currently harvest livestock under USDA or state inspection, or if you plan to, this grant program could be your ticket to accessing funding. 

Below are some highlights drawn from USDA, including the MPPEP II Request for Application (RFA):

TIMELINE

  • Released August 23, 2023 by USDA Rural Development 
  • Application Submission Deadline: November 22, 2023

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Minimum Award Amount: $250,000
  • Maximum Award Amount: $10,000,000
  • Applicant’s Required Match: 70%
    • USDA may reimburse up to 30% of a project
    • Applicants will need to demonstrate an ability to fund the remaining 70%
  • Project Completion Deadline: 4 years

ELIGIBILITY

  • Engaged in commercial slaughter or commercial slaughter & processing
  • Operating or planning to operate under USDA or state inspection
  • You may apply for MPPEP II even if you applied for the USDA’s Local Meat Capacity or Indigenous Animals Grants, but you will only be allowed to accept one grant award—no double dipping

ALLOWABLE USES OF MPPEP II GRANT FUNDING

  • Facilities: Building, Updating, Expanding, or Modifying 
  • Equipment & Technology
  • Upgrading Your Facility’s Inspection Status
  • Safety Equipment & Training
  • Labeling & Packaging Compliance
  • Staffing/Operating Costs 
  • Employee Recruitment, Training & Retention
  • Note: All funded items must increase your facility’s slaughter capacity
  • Butchers transfer quartered beef carcasses from a Friesla Mobile Harvest Unit into The Meating Place Butcher Shop.
    After a day of harvesting, butchers use a hoist and meat rail system to transfer quartered beef carcasses from their Friesla Mobile Harvest Unit into The Meating Place Butcher Shop.
  • Butchers lower a slaughtered sheep onto a skinning cradle with a cable winch in a Mobile Harvest Trailer.
    Bear Mountain Beef butchers lower a knocked sheep onto a skinning cradle using a cable winch from their Friesla Mobile Meat Harvest Unit.
  • Butcher transferring half beef carcass on the meat rail into Drip Cooler room of a Friesla Mobile Slaughter
    A meat processor transfers half of a beef carcass into the Drip Cooler of a Friesla Mobile Meat Harvest Unit.
  • A Friesla Modular Meat Processing System on a meat processing client’s site at sunrise.
  • An interior view of the Harvest and Processing Room in Friesla’s Modular Meat Processing System.
  • Butcher moves beef carcass along meat rail in MTXBeef's Friesla Modular Harvest unit.
    Butchers at MTXBeef moving a carcass along the meat rail after skinning in a Modular Harvest Unit.
  • Four-rail meat rail in a Friesla Modular Carcass Aging Cooler.
    Carcass Aging Cooler: Chilled carcasses are moved here for extended dry aging and staging prior to breakdown.
  • Beef half carcasses hanging in a Frielsa Modular Carcass Aging Cooler.
    Beef carcasses hang in the Modular Carcass Aging Cooler at MTXBeef.
  • An interior view of the Cut & Package Module in Friesla’s Modular Meat Processing System.
    Cut & Package Module: Outfitted with all of the processing equipment needed for carcass breakdown, cutting/fabrication, and packaging under USDA inspection.
  • A team of butchers break down a beef carcass in the Cut and Package Module of a Friesla Meat Processing System.
    Bear Mountain Beef butchers break, fabricate, and package beef inside their Friesla Cut & Package Module.
  • A team of butchers break down a beef carcass in the Cut and Package Module of a Friesla Meat Processing System.
    Bear Mountain Beef butchers fabricate beef carcasses on polytop cutting tables in their Friesla Cut & Package Module.
  • An interior view of the Finished Goods Freezer in Friesla’s Modular Meat Processing System.
    Finished Goods Freezer: Packaged meat is chilled to freezing temperatures by a self-contained refrigeration cooling system.
  • Full-length deep shelving in The Producer Partnership's Finished Goods Freezer.
    Packaged meat is chilled to freezing temperatures by a self-contained refrigeration cooling system in The Producer Partnership’s Friesla Modular Finished Goods Freezer.
  • Friesla’s Founder & President interacting with a meat processing client in the Cut & Package Module of their Friesla Meat Processing System.
  • USDA HACCP paperwork being filled out by a butcher during meat processing operations.
    MTXBeef butcher performing HACCP checks inside the Friesla Modular Meat Processing System.

QUALIFYING FRIESLA SYSTEMS, EQUIPMENT & SERVICES

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLYING

FREE GRANT SUPPORT FOR MEAT PRODUCERS & PROCESSORS

LINKS TO USDA GRANT INFORMATION