2022 Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development (RD), Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) is now accepting applications for the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). Approximately $150 million will be available to fund projects under this solicitation, with a maximum award amount of $25 million or 20 percent of total project costs, whichever is less.

What is the purpose of the MPPEP? The primary goal of the MPPEP is to provide more and better processing options to producers as soon as possible. The secondary goals relate to the strategies to fulfill the primary goal and make lasting impacts, and include:  
  • to increase shackle space available to producers; 
  • to support development of value‐added products available to consumers;
  • to support proposals that provide fair prices, fair wages and new and safe job opportunities that keep profits circulating in the rural community; and
  • to increase diversity in processing options in terms of business model approaches, geography, and availability to underserved communities.

MPPEP is part of the broader $4 billion USDA Build Back Better Initiative to transform the food supply chain. Given that the meat and poultry processing sector is particularly vulnerable to disruption, increasing capacity and promoting competition in this sector is a high priority for USDA. Grants to meat and poultry processors for start‐up and expansion will be delivered in two phases. This request for applications (RFA) is for Phase I, which is referred to as MPPEP. A separate RFA will be issued for Phase II.

Who is eligible for this program? Eligible applicants for the MPPEP grants include an individual, sole proprietor business or other business entities (regardless of legal structure) engaged or proposing to engage in meat and poultry processing, including federally recognized Tribes and tribal entities, for‐profit entities, non‐profit entities, and State or local government entities. Applicants must engage or propose to engage in slaughter and/or further processing with plans to operate under USDA, tribal or state‐equivalent inspection. Private entities must be independently owned and operated, and all entities must be domestically owned. Additionally, applicants’ meat and poultry processing facilities must be physically located and operated in the United States (U.S.) or its territories.

What activities are eligible for this program? An applicant selected for this grant must use funds for the purpose of expanding processing capacity in the applicant’s market to accommodate additional species, increased volumes, or otherwise expand capacity. Within such a project, eligible activities include, but are not limited to: 
  • Construction of a new facility;
  • Modernizing or expanding an existing facility (including expansion and modifications to existing buildings and/or construction of new buildings at existing facilities, construction of holding pens, construction of wastewater management structures, etc.);
  • Modernizing processing and manufacturing equipment (including cutting equipment, mixers, grinders, sausage stuffers, smokers, curing equipment, pipes, motors, pumps, and valves); 
  • Developing, customizing, and installing equipment, devices, and technology that automates processing functions to improve worker conditions and safety;  
  • Developing, customizing, and installing climate‐smart equipment that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases efficiency in water use, improves air and/or water quality, and/or meets one or more of USDA’s climate action goals;   
  • Ensuring compliance with packaging and labeling requirements under applicable law (including sealing, bagging, boxing, labeling, conveying, and product moving equipment); 
  • Ensuring compliance with occupational and other safety requirements under applicable law;
  • Modernizing equipment or facilities to ensure food safety; 
  • Paying for voluntary grading services to offer value‐added processed products; 
  • Accounting for costs associated with becoming an inspected facility (including Hazard, Analysis, and Critical Control Points (HACCP) consultation, employee training or technical assistance related to inspection, etc.); and
  • Workforce recruitment, training, apprenticeships, and retention to ensure expansion projects will be adequately staffed and crewed and offer opportunities to workers.

What are the funding levels for this program? Approximately $150 million is available for this solicitation. The maximum award amount is $25 million or 20 percent of the total project costs, whichever is less. There is no minimum award amount.

Is there a cost share or match requirement? Matching funds are not required under this funding opportunity. However, the applicant must have other funding secured to complete the project as described in the application before an award can be made.

Project Duration: The maximum period of performance for this grant is 48 months.

Applications are due April 11, 2022 at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

The full Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530-893-4764.


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