On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced $4 million in federal CARES Act funding has been allocated for the Indiana Meat Processing Expansion and Development Grant Program. This funding opportunity was created to offset the impact of COVID-19 on local and small meat-processing agribusinesses.
“Indiana’s agricultural economy is a driving force for our state and it is critical these agribusinesses receive the resources needed to get back on track,” Crouch said. “This grant program will offer much-needed funding for small and family-operated processing businesses, and we encourage them to share their increase of products with Hoosiers.”
National food supply chain disruptions during the global pandemic further highlighted Indiana’s need to support and expand regional small-scale facilities that producers and consumers can access during both normal and emergency situations.
“Our agricultural community has been through many difficult situations the last few months,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director. “These CARES Act funds will go a long way in shoring up our food supply chain by increasing resilience at our processors and helping to lessen processing wait times for both farmers and consumers.”
The program administered by ISDA would reimburse up to 50% of eligible expenses, with a maximum award of $150,000. Following the federal guidance, grants would only reimburse eligible costs incurred from March 1, 2020, through Dec. 30, 2020.
These funds, which will be a one-to-one match on investments, can be used for equipment purchases, personal protective equipment, food safety equipment, facility upgrades, employee training and a variety of other necessities. A full list of grant guidelines will be available at isda.in.gov.
All applicants must be licensed and in good standing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. To be eligible for a grant under this program, the applicant must represent an existing business with fewer than 500 employees and have at least one federal or BOAH-regulated livestock processing or slaughter facility located in Indiana.
Producers must apply for ISDA-administered programs online by clicking here beginning Oct. 5, 2020.
Source: Office of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch press release