USDA Offers $123 Million to Expand Meat and Poultry Processing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development (RD) Rural Business‐Cooperative Service requests applications for the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program—Phase 2 (MPPEP). USDA is making $123 million in grant funding available to meat and poultry processors for new facilities and for the renovation and expansion of existing facilities. This will promote competition and give more and better options to producers by increasing meat and poultry processing capacity. Applications are due November 22, 2023.

What is the available funding and award size? Approximately $123 million is available to fund projects. The maximum award amount is $10 million or 30 percent of the total project costs, whichever is less. The minimum grant amount is $250,000. Projects including construction (and equipment associated with the project) are eligible for grants from $250,000 to $10 million. Projects that only require equipment purchases are eligible for grants from $5 million to $10 million.

What is the required cost share? The applicant is required to cost share 70 percent of the total project cost. Evidence of the 70 percent cost share will be verified by the Agency at the time of award. If the applicant cannot verify cost share within the timeframe specified in the letter of conditions for the award, the Agency may offer funding to the next highest ranked project.

The applicant is responsible for defining the total project costs of the MPPEP expansion project. Financial contributions must support expanding processing capacity as described in the application. Costs and activities that support existing processing capacity are not eligible.

Who is eligible to apply? Eligible applicants include Tribes and tribal entities, for-profit and nonprofit entities, corporations, producer-owned cooperatives and corporations, certified benefit corporations, state or local government entities, and other entities (regardless of legal structure) who currently engage – or plan to engage – in expanding meat and poultry processing capacity through slaughter or slaughter and further processing.

Eligible applicants engaged in or planning to engage in only further processing activities are not eligible. Private entities must be independently owned and operated. All entities must be domestically owned, and their meat and poultry processing facilities must be physically located and operated within the U.S. or its territories.

What activities are eligible for funding and what is the grant’s period of performance? MPPEP grant funds may only support costs incurred during the period of performance of the award, not to exceed 48 months. The period of performance starts when a Financial Assistance Agreement between the applicant and RBCS is executed, estimated to begin on approximately April 30, 2024.

Eligible activities in this program include, but are not limited to:

  • Construction of a new facility or purchase of an inoperable facility, including the purchase of the real estate for the facility;
  • Modernizing, renovating, 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, upgrading human handling infrastructure, construction of wastewater management structures, etc.);
  • Construction or renovation of mobile slaughter and processing units that are or will be operated under a Federal or State equivalent Grant of Inspection;
  • 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;
  • Modernizing or upgrading equipment or facilities to ensure food 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;
  • Purchasing or upgrading composting or rendering equipment related to the processing of animal protein for human consumption;
  • Developing packaging and labeling capacities compliance under applicable law (e.g., sealing, bagging, boxing, labeling, conveying, and product moving equipment);
  • Developing or improving workforce recruitment, training, apprenticeships, and retention to ensure expansion projects will be adequately staffed and offer opportunities for advancement to workers;
  • Ensuring compliance with occupational and other safety requirements under applicable law; including developing Hazard, Analysis, and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans;
  • Staffing or operational costs specifically tied to the proposed project;
  • Training on the use of all equipment purchased under the grant and associated new processes; and
  • Posting USDA’s standard infrastructure investment signage during construction of the Project.

How can eligible applicants apply? Applications are due through no later than November 22, 2023. The full Request for Applications can be found here

Morrison has extensive experience writing successful applications for clients for USDA programs. For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at or call us at 530-893-4764.


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