Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2021
Gov. Whitmer announces $1.4 million USDA Grants to help Small Agriculture Businesses
Seven meat processing companies to receive federal grant dollars
LANSING, Mich. - Governor Gretchen Whitmer today joined Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell to announce a nearly $1.4 million federal investment to help the state's meat and poultry processors recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and expand their processing capacity. This funding was made available by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program.
"Strengthening our food supply chain and expanding homegrown processing can help reduce food costs while creating new jobs," said Governor Whitmer. "Our state is home to diverse and robust food and agriculture businesses that are a fundamental part of the MI New Economy plan to keep Michigan first. I appreciate USDA's commitment to grow Michigan."
MPIRG, a new program authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, is jointly administered by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service and Food Safety and Inspection Service. The program was part of USDA's comprehensive funding package to help small and very small processing facilities weather the pandemic, compete in the marketplace, and get the support they need to reach more customers.
There were seven Michigan companies awarded MPIRG grants:
With this grant funding, meat and poultry processing businesses can cover the costs for improvements such as expanding existing facilities, modernizing processing equipment and meeting packaging, labeling, and food safety requirements needed to achieve a Federal Grant of Inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or to operate under a state's Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. These changes will allow these facilities to serve more customers in more markets.
"Michigan's food and ag sector is an economic powerhouse generating billions for the economy and supporting jobs across the state," said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. "Our farmers and food-based businesses have been challenged on a number of fronts throughout the pandemic and these funds provide so much needed support."
In June 2021, USDA announced the availability of $55.2 million in MPIRG funding, accepting applications for a competitive grant award process which resulted in today's awards. Remaining funds will be made available through a forthcoming Request for Applications.
To learn more about MPIRG and see the full list of awards, visit https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/mpirg.