WASHINGTON – US Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced on Nov. 22 that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) would invest $32 million in grants to 167 meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities to support expanded capacity and efficiency.

The Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) can cover the costs for improvements like expanding existing facilities, modernizing processing equipment and meeting packaging, labeling and food safety requirements. 

“Today’s investment supports local and regional meat and poultry processors as they recover from the pandemic and also work to expand capacity,” Vilsack said. “Achieving a Federal Grant of Inspection or operating under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment program allows meat and poultry processors to ship products across state lines, pursue new market opportunities, and better meet consumer and producer demand along the supply chain.”

The funding will also help achieve a Federal Grant of Inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or operate under a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.

Authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, MPIRG will be jointly administered by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). 

During June, the USDA announced $55.2 million of funding under the MPIRG and the acceptance of applications for the competitive grant award process. 

The program was part of USDA’s $500 million comprehensive funding package announced in July that was centered around expanding US meat processing capacity.

The entire list of companies who were awarded MPIRG can be found here.