Meat Processing Grants

Earlier this week, the Ohio Controlling Board approved $18 million to be allocated to the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program. These additional funds are the result of a very strong response to the initial $10 million granted through the 2022 – 2023 biennial state budget to help small and medium-sized livestock and poultry processors implement processing efficiencies, expand or construct facilities at existing sites, assist in training and certification, and improve harvest services.

“The need for the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program, which Farm Bureau helped develop and advocated for, was proven by the demand for the first round of funding and the announcement of additional grants,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We appreciate Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted, as well as the entire Ohio Legislature, for their continued investment into the state’s small and medium-sized meat processors so improvements can be made to meet the demand for locally grown meat and poultry. The results will be more marketing opportunities for farmers, additional buying options for consumers and a stronger food supply system for all Ohioans.”

Within the first day of accepting applications for the initial round of the program, processors across Ohio had requested nearly three times the initial $10 million.

“We were so inspired by the number of meat processors that wanted to take part in the program that we, along with the Department of Development, immediately started looking into other funding opportunities for them,” said Dorothy Pelanda, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “Needless to say, there is a tremendous amount of interest in the program.”

According to ODA Division of Meat Inspection Chief Dr. Juan Leon, this funding will help to decentralize meat processing in Ohio as it begins to expand to a point where the industry will take on a completely new look.

“This program will allow the smaller meat processors and the farmers they work with to get out of the shadows of the larger meat companies,” Leon said.

Having opportunities to attend leadership institutes, advocate for rural Ohioans on the state and national level, facilitate young ag professionals events, and serve in a variety of leadership positions have helped my skills grow exponentially.
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Sara Tallmadge

Ashland County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
I was gifted the great opportunity through an Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Pathways grant to run a series of summer camps here. That really expanded my vision of what ‘grow, maintain, sustain and explain’ could actually be.
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Jim Bruner

Mezzacello Urban Farms

Farming for Good
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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