Gov. Andy Beshear recently announced $2 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds will be allocated to the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy to help expand meat processing in Kentucky.
“The COVID-19 crisis has caused deep economic turbulence across the commonwealth and within our agricultural community,” said Gov. Beshear. “This relief will help producers and processors sustain their small businesses, expand their processing capacity and reduce Kentucky’s reliance on other states to keep our grocery meat cases full.”
As the novel coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of a strong agricultural supply chain, the additional $2 million in CARES Act funding will be distributed through the current Meat Processing Investment Program (MPIP). The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (KADB) previously allocated more than $1.5 million to the program since May, with continued interest from processors. In an effort to process more Kentucky beef, dairy, pork, lamb, sheep, goat and poultry products, the MPIP must distribute the additional CARES Act funds by Dec. 30, 2020.
“Early in the pandemic, many Kentuckians went to the grocery store and for the first time in their lives saw a shortage of meat products on grocery shelves,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “That's why the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board moved in May to develop an incentive program to expand our small meat processors in Kentucky. With my request for CARES Act funding fulfilled, I look forward to working with the Agricultural Development Board to continue diversifying Kentucky agriculture with these funds and supporting our cattle producers as we fight the pandemic.”
“This important investment comes at a critical time for agriculture,” said GOAP Executive Director Dorsey Ridley. “Our office will efficiently distribute this necessary funding to help support our food supply system.”
Applicants can receive up to $250,000 on a reimbursement basis under current MPIP guidelines. For more information on the Meat Processing Investment Program, or to apply, visit http://agpolicy.ky.gov.
Source: Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund