INDIANA (WFIE) - The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has warded $4 million to 41 Indiana meat processing businesses through the Indiana Meat Processing Expansion & Development Grant Program.
This funding was allocated to offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local and small meat-processing agribusinesses in Indiana.
“Processing plants in our state are essential and this funding will help with a variety of necessities to strengthen this sector of our food supply chain,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “These grants will address issues caused by COVID-19 and help meet consumer demands in both normal and emergency situations.”
With a 50% cash match requirement for this grant opportunity, a total of at least $8 million will be invested in the Indiana small meat processing economy as a result of the grant program.
Funding was made available through Indiana’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) dollars.
The awardees can use the funding in a variety of ways so long as it aims to improve food supply resilience through promoting worker safety, expanding meat processing capacity and/or increasing slaughter.
Many businesses are using the grants to purchase equipment or modify their facilities for increased efficiency.
Some are using the funding to train additional staff and purchase personal protective equipment.
The 41 awarded meat processors are Hoosier businesses with less than 500 employees.
In our area, Dewig Bros. Packing Co., Inc. in Haubstadt was awarded $150,000, Ferdinand Processing, Inc. in Ferdinand was awarded $37,000, Merkley and Sons Packing in Jasper was awarded $96,000, and Sander Processing in Celestine was awarded $150,000.