Small and midsized meatpackers recipients of USDA program investments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the investment of $32 million in grants awarded to 167 meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities to support expanded capacity and efficiency through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant program.

The investment supports local and regional meat and poultry processors as they recover from the pandemic and also work to expand capacity, said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in the announcement. “Achieving a Federal Grant of Inspection or operating under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment program allows meat and poultry processors to ship products across state lines, pursue new market opportunities, and better meet consumer and producer demand along the supply chain.”

With this grant funding, meat and poultry processing businesses can cover the costs for improvements such as expanding existing facilities, modernizing processing equipment and meeting packaging, labeling and food safety requirements needed 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. These changes will allow these facilities to serve more customers in more markets.

MPIRG, a new program authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, is jointly administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Food Safety and Inspection Service. In June 2021, USDA announced the availability of $55.2 million in MPIRG funding, accepting applications for a competitive grant award process, which resulted in the recently released awards. Remaining funds will be made available through a forthcoming Request for Applications.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-KS, said the $1.595 million investment will help small and midsized operations in his state. The MPIRG program was created by Moran’s legislation, the Requiring Assistance to Meat Processers for Upgrading Plants Act, for small and midsized meatpacking plants to make the necessary investments to become federally inspected. Currently, meatpacking facilities can only make sales across state lines if they are federally inspected.

“I introduced the RAMP-UP Act to equip small meatpackers with the necessary resources to meet federal standards, and I am pleased to see the resulting investment will help meatpackers across Kansas expand their businesses and reach a wider customer base with the ability to sell their products across state lines,” he said.

 The RAMP-UP Act was signed into law by former President Donald Trump about a year ago as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

Recipients from High Plains Journal’s coverage area include:


Burkhart Meat Processing, Kinsley, $200,000—doubles their current slaughter and processing capacity and obtain a federal inspection status. Alta Vista Locker, Alta Vista, $200,000—supports modernization of facilities to improve the safety and speed of the slaughter process. Price Ventures, LaCygne, $200,000—expands current slaughter and processing capacity for poultry to meet demand by local producers currently served and increase access for new producers. Freedom Meats, Caney, $200,000—expands and upgrades facility to a retail meat operation and finish obtaining a federal inspection status. Circle P Processing, Waterville, $200,000—modernizes equipment, allowing for increased safety standards, to obtain a federal inspection status. Schenker Family Farms Inc., McCune, $194,970.69—improvements to obtain a federal inspection to expand distribution channels for specialty foods. BD Meats Inc., Yoder, $200,000—supports modifications necessary for Federal Grant of Inspection, expands facility size and allows renovation of freezer space to accommodate increased processing capacity Dieck’s Inc., Clay Center, $200,000—increases production of raw and further processed meats and helps obtain a federal inspection, allowing local producers to broaden markets.


University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, $199,697—improvements to the capacity and infrastructure of the University of Arkansas Red Meat Laboratory. A&C Meat Co., Hot Springs, $200,000—facility expansion and equipment acquisition 5R Custom Meats, Mt. Vernon, $200,000—inspection readiness for small multiple-species harvest and processing plant Central Arkansas Mobile Processing LLC, $188,989–modernize processing and manufacturing equipment necessary to obtain a federal inspection status.


Wheat Ridge Poultry and Meats, Wheat Ridge, $200,000—application for inspection readiness and expansion of harvesting and processing facilities. Elevation Meat Market LLC, Westcliffe, $200,000—improvements and carrying out other planning activities necessary to obtain a federal inspection status. Bountiful Ventures LLC, Bountiful, $200,000—federal inspection readiness and harvest floor and output efficiencies expansion.


Premium White Meat LLC, Bloomfield, $200,000—revitalizing workplace safety to reach USDA inspection readiness. Yetter Locker Inc., Auburn, $200,000—upgrading facilities to promote Cooperative Interstate Shipment inspection readiness. Weaver Meats, Afton, $200,000—upgrading facilities and equipment to assist Cooperative Interstate Shipment inspection readiness. Edgewood Locker Inc., Edgewood, $200,000—expansion and transition to USDA inspection from state expansion. Slaughter House Meats LLC, Melbourne, $200,000—reach Cooperative Interstate Shipment inspection readiness and improve rood access. Clarion Locker, Clarion, $200,000—reach Cooperative Interstate Shipment status and encourage meat industry diversity. Mingo Locker LLC, Mingo, $200,000—building expansion and equipment upgrades. Ruthven Meat Processing, Ruthven, $200,000—improved processing, storage and smoked product resources to help earn Cooperative Interstate Shipment status. In’t Veld’s Meat Market, Pella, $200,000—federal inspection planning and implementation of a plan to purchase equipment and establish markets for products and distribute nationally. Moravia Meat Locker, Moravia, $183,575—upgrading infrastructure and equipment to reach Cooperative Interstate Shipment readiness. Dayton Meats, Malcolm, $200,000—improving infrastructure to reach Cooperative Interstate Shipment readiness. RC Nikkel LLC, Sully, $200,000—modernizing equipment and infrastructure to reach Cooperative Interstate Shipment inspection status. Thoma Enterprises Inc., Durant, $200,000—refurbishing equipment to reach Cooperative Interstate Shipment readiness. Winthrop Locker LLC, Winthrop, $200,000—upgrading facilities and equipment to promote Cooperative Interstate Shipment readiness. Zeb’s Smoke House LTD, Bedford, $200,000—market expansion and reaching Cooperative Interstate Shipping compliance. Corning Meat Processing Service Inc., Corning, $200,000—refurbishing infrastructure and equipment to reach Cooperative Interstate Shipment inspection readiness. County Meats Inc., Arcadia, $200,000—modernizing equipment and infrastructure to reach Cooperative Interstate Shipment status. Bordenaro’s Meat Market LLC, Carroll, $200,000—harvesting and meat/food shipping expansion.


Autumn Antlers, Morrison County, $200,000—upgrade facilities, equipment and personnel from Minnesota state custom exempt processing to a USDA inspection status. Autumn Antlers processes beef hogs, elk, red stag, deer and bison. Backroad Meats Inc., Milaca, $200,000—expand freezer and processing area with equipment upgrade to obtain federal grant inspection. Neighbors Meats LLC, New Richland, $200,000—federal food safety inspection upgrade to become a harvesting and processed meats retail facility. Bruders Butcher Breckenridge, Breckinridge-Wahpeton, $200,000—improvements to reach federal inspection status.

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Neal Meats LLC, Seymour, $200,000—grant to update for USDA inspection. Ozark Plateau Pork LLC, Osage County, $200,000—obtain a federal grant of expansion to expand opportunities for disadvantaged pork farmers. Turner Processing LLC, Fair Grove, $200,000—expand the operation into a state inspected processing plant with Cooperative Interstate Shipping compliance. Woodward Meats LLC, Archie, $199,746.89—expanding markets with a Cooperative Interstate Shipping program and working to reach state inspection status. Cowboy Country Processing LLC, Cape Fair, $200,000—update the facility’s equipment infrastructure so it can pass state inspection and process and distribute through the Cooperative Interstate Shipping program. Walnut Hill Farms, Philadelphia, $199,956.81—reach federal inspections status and increase harvesting and processing capacity and related infrastructure.

Also, Zimmerman Meats, Summersville, $200,000—facility upgrade and process improvements to obtain federal inspection status and expand existing markets. Hermann Wurst Haus LLC, Hermann, $200,000—expand into new markets with specialty meats. Morning Glory Farms LLC, Springfield, $200,000—seeking compliance with Cooperative Interstate Shipping program to expand production and sales. J&J Processing, Pierce, $200,000—obtain facilities to meet inspection requirements and related improvements to reach Cooperative Interstate Shipping compliance. Clark’s Custom Meat Co., St. Joseph, $200,000—expand processing capacity, achieve Cooperative Interstate Shipping compliance promote small farms and serve consumers. Rock Ridge Farms Production LLC, Dexter, $200,000—achieve USDA inspection and increase beef capacity.


Cowboy Meat Company, Forsyth, $200,000—upgrade equipment to reach USDA-inspection status and bolster Native American food access. Big Sandy Meat Shop, Big Sandy, $200,000—upgrade harvesting and processing facility improvements to seek a federal grant of inspection. BMB Ventures, Meagher County, $194,753—obtaining a grant for Rawhide Meats to receive a federal grant of inspection. Hollenbeck Holdings, Billings, $200,000—reach USDA–inspection readiness with upgrades that help revitalize the local rural economy by supporting 20 jobs. S Ranch Meats, Hardin, $181,000—increase efficiency, safety and capacity for meat-processing facility seeking federal grant of inspection status.


H&R LLC, Franklin, $200,000—improvement required to obtain grant of federal inspection as the Franklin Locker will add about 3,000 square feet and added four to six employees Meat & Companies LLC, Nenzel, $200,000—expansion of meat and complete processing facility to obtain a federal grant inspection status. The applicant is a new woman-owned business with a goal to expand the company and provide healthy meat products to a larger group of people. Ace&Ida, Ord, $200,000—pursuit of a federal inspection for a larger and more efficient facility for Ord Locker, a custom exempt, harvest and processing operation.

New Mexico

C4 Enterprises Inc., Chama, $198,000—initiative to obtain a federal grant of inspection and increase meat processing capacity for direct to consumer livestock producers. MGS Enterprises, Kirtland, $200,000—expand and update equipment to better serve local clients and employ up to 10 new full-time employees.


Watson Farms Meat Processing & Market, Council Hill, $200,000—strengthening infrastructure to promote USDA-inspection readiness and food access on tribal lands. Granite Industries LLC, Chelse, $200,000—modernizing equipment and infrastructure to reach USDA-inspected status.

South Dakota

One Spirit, Pine Ridge, $200,000—making facility improvements and carrying out other planning activities necessary to obtain a certification for Cooperative Interstate Shipment for the Charging Buffalo meat processing operation. Bad River Brand Enterprises, Chamberlain, $200,000—allow Bad River Jerky to go from retail exempt status to federally inspected status for its small meat snack products. U.S Beef Producers, Fort Pierre, $200,000—help continue to expand beef processing for local producers to help improve their profits. Makoce Agriculture Development Inc., Porcupine, $200,000—prepare for mobile poultry processing unit for a federal grant of inspection. Dakota Butcher Clark Inc., Clark, $200,000—increase the holding pen, cold hanging storage and freezer space along with other facility improvements.


Feliot’s Finest LLC, Santa Elena, $200,000—allow 2F Akaushi Beef to add harvesting capacity for its wagyu beef and add cold room capacity and the facility will be USDA compliant. West Texas Meats LLC, Seagraves, $200,000—upgrade facility and equipment for federal inspection and provide greater production capacity. Dyess Processing LLC, Rusk, $199,875—expand the plant and become a local distributor to retail markets. In addition to the expansion it will allow for partnership with Jacksonville College to provide a certified meat cutter program for one to two part-time interns. Rail 19, Brashear, $177,800—enhancement of slaughter capacity, employee efficiency, food safety and expansion of hazard analysis and critical control points plan. B&C Farm LLC, Abilene, $199,986—improvements to acquire federal grant of inspection for poultry harvesting and processing so B&C can pursue new markets in wholesale, retail, restaurants and expand into interstate commerce.


Kompac Inc., Mills, $200,000—upgrade and improve Kompac Meat Processing to increase meat processing capacity through cooler upgrades, improved labor capacity through the development and implementation of a training program, improved service capacity and ultimately obtain a USDA grant of inspection to serve central Wyoming.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].