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Meat, poultry, dairy processing grants available

ST. PAUL — Livestock product processors seeking to start up, modernize or expand their businesses are encouraged to apply for the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation Meat, Poultry, Egg, and Milk Processing Grant program.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture anticipates awarding up to $1.4 million using a competitive review process. The maximum equipment award is $150,000, and the minimum award is $1,000.

The intent of the program is to increase sales of Minnesota-raised livestock products by investing in equipment and physical improvements that support processing, capacity, market diversification, and market access.

“Meat processing demand continues to increase, and capacity has to keep pace for a healthy market to exist,” Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “This grant helps processors become more agile and resilient, expanding access to products.”

Applicants must:

•Intend to or be engaged with livestock slaughter or processing, including meat, poultry, egg, and/or milk.

•Be an individual (including farmers), business, agricultural cooperative, non-profit, educational institution, or a local unit of government (including Tribal Governments).

•Currently reside in Minnesota and be authorized to conduct business in Minnesota

Grantees are responsible for at least 50% of the total cost for the first $50,000 and 75% of the total cost for every dollar after as a cash match. Funding for the AGRI Meat, Poultry, Egg, and Milk Processing grants will be awarded in one round.

Grant applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27. Funding will be awarded in early 2023.

Proposals must be submitted through the online application system.

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