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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Agriculture has awarded $16,716,406 million in CARES Act funding to nearly 150 small and medium sized businesses. As a direct result of the reimbursement grant, more than 40 businesses were assisted in initiating or expanding their level of meat processing through a new grant of inspection or custom exempt inspection status.
“As a cattleman and former small business owner, I am passionate about raising, processing, and buying the products produced right here at home,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Investing in small businesses is a way to ensure that our food supply is strong and that Missourians are able to continue feeding their families during future emergencies. These grants will not only benefit Missouri meat processors but also consumers as their access to meat and poultry increases.”
The Meat & Poultry Processing Grant was created to support meat and poultry processing establishments that employ fewer than 200 people with the end goal of creating stronger food supply resiliency across the state. The Missouri General Assembly appropriated the federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES ACT”) to help support these establishments and their communities.
“Our local meat processors were the backbone of our food supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Last year, our team doubled the amount of red meat under state inspection, so we know the demand is there. We are proud to say that this grant has helped bring 27 businesses into state inspection status, also doubling the number of state inspected facilities in Missouri.”
Funds were awarded to federal, state and custom exempt meat and poultry processing facilities.
New or Expanded Establishments (definitions below)
5 USDA inspected establishments
27 MDA inspected establishments
12 new custom exempt establishments
Existing Facilities (definitions below)
62 existing USDA or MDA inspected establishments
43 existing custom exempt establishments
“Many members of the Missouri Association of Meat Processors received the Missouri Meat and Poultry Processing Grant,” said Niki Cloud, executive secretary of MAMP. “Processors were able to make further improvements to their businesses, which helped their local economy, and ultimately keep their communities fed.”
The grant funds were used to reimburse costs associated with purchasing or improving equipment, upgrades to utilities such as water, electric, heat or cooling, packaging equipment, costs associated with becoming an inspected establishment and more.
To learn more about the Missouri Meat & Poultry Processing Grant, please click here. To learn more about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and other financial opportunities available to farmers, ranchers and small businesses, visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov.
Background: Definitions related to this news release can be found below:
New, Expanded and Existing Establishments
New Establishment: a new business that received a grant of inspection or custom exempt status.
Expanded Establishment: an existing business that increased processing capacity and reached a new level of inspection status.
Existing Establishment: an existing business that increased processing capacity within their current inspection status.
USDA Inspected, MDA Inspected and Custom Exempt Establishments
USDA Inspected (federal) status: Meat and poultry processing establishments that process meat for interstate sale and donation.
MDA Inspected (state) status: Meat and poultry processing establishments that process meat for intrastate sale and donation.
Custom Exempt: Meat and poultry processing establishments that process meat for personal use.
To learn more about inspection status levels, click here.