USDA Announces Phase 2 of MPPEP grants
The application window will last from August 24, until November 22, 2023.The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has announced a second round of grants from the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program. These grants, MPPEP2, will make more funding available for meat and poultry processors to expand their operations, transform the food supply chain and create new and better markets for producers. Approximately $123 million in grants will be made available. The application window will last from today, August 24, until November 22, 2023.
The MPPEP2 grants will be available to companies that slaughter animals or are expanding their further processing operations in order to increase their slaughter capacity. Companies that only do further processing are not eligible for these grants, nor are any of the “Big 4” processors – the processors who take up the four largest shares of the beef, pork, chicken or other protein sectors. Additionally, any processors that source more than 20% of its input or provide more than 20% of its output to a “Big 4” entity, are also not eligible. Custom exempt establishments are not eligible unless they are in the process of attaining a federal grant of inspection, a state equivalent, or the Cooperative Interstate Shipping Program.
The minimum award in the MPPEP2 grants will be $250,000, and the maximum award will be 30% of the total project cost, up to $10 million. There are several differences between these grants and Phase 1 of the MPPEP program, such as:
- The total cost share of a project increases from 20% to 30%, while the maximum grant awarded changes from $25 million to $20 million. The stated goal of the program is to contribute to more, but smaller, projects.
- MPPEP1 required a feasibility study for each application. MPPEP2 grants do not require such a study, except for business that have been in operation for less than one year, businesses that are building facilities outside of their current market, or applicants proposing to process new species or establish a new product line.
- The application will have a template that applicants can use to develop their proposal. The application for MPPEP1 was open-ended, and some applicants felt the process was too confusing or overwhelming.
For more information, visit https://rd.usda.gov/mppep. Information available on that page includes an application template, program resources, non-USDA contacts for technical information and notices for future webinar events as they are announced.
As a technical advisor to the USDA, AAMP is here to help our members with any questions that they may have about MPPEP2. Please submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will answer them or seek out the information that you require.