The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is opening up a second round of grants aimed at increasing the capacity for livestock processing plants and producers to increase capacity for slaughter, processing, and storage in the wake of supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many processors made investments to increase their capacity in order to respond to the industry-wide slow-downs during the COVID-19 outbreak, and we want to help them recover some of those costs,” Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “Others may still be considering adding capacity and we want to encourage them to do so.”

The Rapid Response Mini-Grant for Livestock Processing will offer from $1,000 to $5,000 to applicants to offset the cost of expenses such as adding coolers, refrigeration units, slaughter, and processing equipment.

Eligible applicants include processors of meat, poultry, eggs, and milk located in Minnesota and Minnesota livestock producers who need storage capacity for processed products until existing markets return or new markets are developed.

Businesses that did not receive funding in the last round or did not receive the full $5,000 amount can apply.

Grant funds can be used to cover expenses incurred between March 2, 2020, and November 30, 2020, and require a 1:1 match. Applicants must be in business at the time they apply.

The MDA awarded $208,213 to 46 Minnesota livestock processing plants and producers in its previous round of funding.

Applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. on November 30, 2020, or until all funds are depleted, on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications must be submitted through our online application system.

For more information, visit our Rapid Response Mini-Grant For Livestock Processing webpage or email Courtney VanderMey at [email protected].

Funding for this program is made available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and is part of a $7.7 million plan announced earlier this month by Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan to support agricultural producers, meat processors, and farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.