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.

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