HARRISBURG, Pa. — Today, the Wolf Administration announced the opening of the second grant program made possible by Governor Tom Wolf’s PA Farm Bill. The Very Small Meat-Processor Grant Program will provide funding to reimburse a portion of inspection and certification requirements for businesses that meet the federal definition of “very small meat processors”.
“Consumers are looking for local, custom services from small agribusinesses they know and trust,” said Sec. Redding. “These grants will give small businesses the edge they need to meet that demand, build their businesses and give customers what they want.”
The grants make up to $50,000 available to meat-processing businesses with annual sales of less than $2.5 million and fewer than 10 employees, or new businesses aiming to be that size. Funds can be used to pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of a first-time purchase of equipment necessary to comply with the Federal Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan, a requirement processors must meet to ensure that meat is safely processed.
Grants can fund up to 50 percent of actual costs of equipment required to comply with federal HACCP certification, or the costs of technical assistance or advice from a food safety specialist to develop their plan.
The PA Farm Bill, a package of legislation that provides support for and continued investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture industry, was modeled after the governor’s six-point plan to cultivate future generations of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry. The legislation provides for business development and succession planning, accommodations for a growing animal agriculture sector, removing regulatory burdens, strengthening the ag workforce, protecting infrastructure, and making Pennsylvania the nation’s leading organic state.
Beginning today, qualified businesses can apply for the grants at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us/login.aspx. The application period closes on September 30, 2019.
–Shannon Powers, Pa. Department of Agriculture