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Governor DeWine Announces the Availability of $14 Million in Funds for Meat Processing

A man in glasses and a tie, Governor DeWine, speaking at a podium.

Image: Cincinnati Enquirer

Press Release from the Ohio Department of Development. Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Governor Mike DeWine recently announced financing available to assist Ohio livestock and poultry producers with upgrades and expansions of meat processing facilities.

On the program website, applications for the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program are currently accessible.  

“The need for meat processing services is significant, and it’s our job to ensure that Ohio companies have the support they need to continue to feed Ohio’s families,” said Governor DeWine. “Not only that, but this program creates jobs and supports the future of an essential industry in Ohio.”

The Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program offers $14 million in funding. Through the program, Ohio livestock and poultry producers may qualify for incentives of up to $500,000.

“The agriculture industry is critical to Ohio’s economy and we’re helping to ensure job security and food security through the meat processing grant program,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “These grants help smaller producers and processors upgrade their equipment and meet the level of productivity and efficiency they need to compete.”

“By investing in Ohio’s meat processors, we’re supporting the growth of small business and ensuring access to safe, locally sourced food for all Ohioans,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development.

New and improved machinery, additional equipment and technological items, and plant building or expansion for processing, refrigeration, and confinement are all considered eligible charges. Federally or state-registered meat harvesting or processing plants in Ohio are among the eligible applicants.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture works with the Department of Development to oversee the program’s administration.

“Ohio meat processing grant funding is critical for Ohio’s meat processors to keep up with demand,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Brian Baldridge. “We know this investment will enable processors to expand their operations, strengthen the food supply chain and contribute to our state’s economic growth.”

The Division of Meat Inspection of the Ohio Department of Agriculture issued licenses to 281 meat and poultry enterprises in 2022. Ohio’s meat and poultry processing sector has grown at a rate never seen before, thanks in part to funding from the General Assembly and Governor DeWine. There have been 23% more approved, fully inspected slaughterhouses in the division since 2020.

A total of 128 grants totaling about $28 million were given to meat processors in 59 of Ohio’s 88 counties during the first three funding rounds. Hurdwell, a meat processing plant in Northwest Ohio, was awarded a $250,000 grant by the program to help with new equipment purchases, hiring and training of meat cutters, and increasing processing and slaughter efficiency.  

“Through the Meat Processing Grant, we were able to get multiple pieces of new equipment, including a smoker which allowed us to add five new lines of product, including beef jerky,” said Katie Kramer, co-owner of Hurdwell. “Meat processing equipment is very expensive, and this grant played a pivotal role in our ability to remain a sustainable custom and retail meat processor for years to come.” 

House Bill 33, which received support from the 135th Ohio General Assembly, allowed for more funding for the program.

Applications and program details are accessible at development.ohio.gov/MeatProcessing, the program webpage. At four p.m., the application will close. June 3rd, a Monday.

The Ohio Department of Development invests in Ohio’s people, locations, and businesses to enable communities to thrive. 

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