The U.S. Department of Agriculture on March 25 launched the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA) to provide technical assistance to meat and poultry grant applicants and grant-funded projects.

MPPTA technical assistance is intended to help processors and applicants involved with the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP).

As part of the Biden-⁠Harris Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has established cooperative agreements with three non-profit organizations to provide technical assistance using a wide range of expertise and outreach strategies to establish a national support network for meat and poultry grant applicants to navigate the application process and advise grant recipients on their projects.

Flower Hill Institute, a Native-owned nonprofit based out of the Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico, will serve as the MPPTA technical assistance coordinator for this multi-year program.

Also participating are Oregon State University’s Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network and the Intertribal Agricultural Council.

USDA is also pursuing agreements with the American Association of Meat Processors, the American Meat Science Association and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute to support meat and poultry projects nationwide. 

“This is a true partnership to help meat and poultry processors and grant applicants diversify processing ownership throughout the country,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Meat and poultry processing is a complex sector that requires significant planning and forethought to manage economic viability concurrently with worker, food and environmental safety. We are pleased to partner with these initial organizations, given their deep technical expertise and demonstrated service to underserved communities, as part of our support for fairer, more competitive, and resilient meat and poultry supply chains.”

Learn more about the MPPTA program or make a request for technical assistance under this program here.

MPIRG funding, round 2

AMS is accepting applications through May 24 for a second round of MPIRG program funding totaling $23.6 million.

“In the MPIRG program’s first round, we provided $32 million in funding to cover the costs for necessary improvements 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," Vilsack said. "And the second round will help us continue to help processors grow.”

USDA encourages grant applications that focus on:

  • improving meat and poultry slaughter and processing capacity and efficiency
  • developing new and expanding existing markets
  • increasing capacity and better meeting consumer and producer demand
  • maintaining strong inspection and food safety standards
  • obtaining a larger commercial presence while increasing access to slaughter or processing facilities for smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers and veteran producers.

MPIRG’s Planning for a Federal Grant of Inspection project type is for processing facilities currently in operation and working toward Federal inspection. Applicants can be located anywhere in the states and territories. MPIRG’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment Compliance project type is only for processing facilities in states with a Food Safety Inspection Service CIS program. These states are Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Applicants must be working toward CIS program compliance requirements to operate a state-inspected facility or make a good faith effort toward doing so. Applications must be submitted through by 11:59 p.m. EDT, May 24. For more information about grant eligibility and previously funded projects, visit the MPIRG webpage or email

MPPEP deadline extension

USDA is also extending to May 11 the application deadline for MPPEP, which provides funding to expand meat and poultry processing capacity.

Applicants can visit the MPPEP website for additional information, and questions may be submitted through the website or emailed to

For information on MPIRG, MPPEP, and USDA’s other Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Initiatives, visit

Source: USDA