Grants & Financial Options
USDA is committed to supporting meat, poultry and egg establishments of all sizes. Below are available federal opportunities for financial and technical assistance, as well as resources available through private institutions and the broader community.
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Grants
The Local MCap grant program is targeted to support meat and poultry processors with smaller-scale projects, with a goal to increase processing availability and variety for local and regional livestock producers. Local MCap complements the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Grants administered by Rural Development by providing a targeted program for smaller-scale projects using a streamlined application. Smaller-scale projects eligible for this program include equipment purchases and installation, facility and equipment upgrades, minor alterations and renovation, and capacity expansion. Smaller-scale projects eligible for this program include equipment purchases and installation, facility and equipment upgrades, minor alterations and renovation, and capacity expansion. Processing Expansion Projects will fund grants from $100,000 up to $5 million to increase the processing and/or rendering capacity of privately, cooperatively, non-profit, or Tribally held processing facilities. Simplified Equipment Projects will support purchase of equipment between $10,000 and $250,000. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 19, 2023.
The Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) helps currently operational meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or operate as a State-inspected facility under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program. The MPIRG focuses on improving capacity and efficiency, developing new and expanding existing markets, maintaining strong inspection and food safety standards, and many other aspects of meat and poultry production.
The Local Food Promotion Program offers grants that are available to improve local food enterprises including meat processors. These grants must be matched by 10 or 25 percent from other sources before the grant can be awarded.
Farm Service Agency Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP)
The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides coverage for cost for organic certification to producers and handlers. Meat processors fall under producers and can be eligible for up to $500 per certification scope.
Rural Development Business Programs
USDA's Rural Development (RD) provides financial backing and technical assistance to stimulate business creation and growth. RD offers programs through partnerships with public and private community-based organizations and financial institutions to provide financial assistance, business development, and technical assistance to rural businesses. These programs help to provide capital, equipment, space, job training, and entrepreneurial skills that can help to start and/or grow a business.
Business Programs also support the creation and preservation of quality jobs in rural areas. Loans, loan guarantees, and grants are available to individuals, businesses, cooperatives, farmers and ranchers, public bodies, non-profit corporations, Native American Tribes, and private companies in rural communities. The financial resources of the Business Programs are often leveraged with those of other public and private credit source lenders to meet business and credit needs in under-served areas. The funding is intended to help improve the quality of life in rural communities by enhancing economic opportunities and ensuring self-sustainability for generations to come.
Rural Development Business Programs:
- Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program
- Business and Industry Loan Guarantees (B&I)
- Energy Programs
- Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program
- Intermediary Relending Program (IRP)
- Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG)
- Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP)
- Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDG)
- Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG)
- Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)
- Socially-Disadvantaged Group Grants (SDGG)
- Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG)
- Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program
You can also read the RD Fact Sheet for Meat Processors.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans and Programs
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers three options of loans guarantees for qualifying small meat processors. A meat processor qualifies for these SBA programs based on the number of employees at the establishment:
- Slaughter, excluding poultry, 1,000 or fewer
- Meat processing from carcasses, 1,000 or fewer
- Rendering and meat byproduct processing, 750 or fewer
- Poultry processing, 1,250 or fewer
The 7(a) loan program can be used for working capital, refinancing, revolving funds, purchases of equipment and supplies, the purchase of real estate, construction and renovation, establishing a new business, or assisting in acquisitions, operation, or expansion of an existing. 7(a) loans are for a maximum of $5 million with an 85 percent guarantee on loans up to $150,000 and 75 percent guarantee on loans over $150,000.
504 guarantees can be used for major fixed assets including purchase or construction of existing buildings or land, new facilities, and long-term machinery and equipment. 504 guarantees are for a maximum of $5 million with maturities for 10 to 25 years.
Microloan guarantees are to be used for small improvements including rebuilding, re-opening, repairs. These guarantees have a maximum value of $50,000.