Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that 40 Ohio livestock and poultry producers will receive grants totaling $10 million to help them expand capacity and meet the growing demand for meat processing services.
“The supply chain issues that our country is facing have put increased pressure on our meat processors, and they can’t keep up with the demand,” said Governor DeWine. “By awarding this money, we can help these Ohio businesses enhance their operations to strengthen the local meat supply chain and reduce reliance on out-of-state processors.”
Each company will receive a grant of up to $250,000, with half of the funds disbursed before projects are started and the other half awarded after the companies show that the initial funds were spent on eligible costs. In total, the businesses receiving awards have estimated that the funds will help them create up to 830 jobs.
“These grants will not only benefit consumers, but they will also help sustain these businesses and bring new job opportunities to Ohioans,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “In addition to new jobs, this funding will help businesses retain 300 jobs and nearly $30 million in payroll.”
The DeWine-Husted Administration prioritized the creation of the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program in the state’s 2022-2023 operating budget, which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly last year. Grant funding will be used to implement processing efficiencies, expand or construct facilities at existing sites, assist in training and certification, and improve harvest services.
The $10 million grant program, administered by the Ohio Department of Development in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, generated tremendous interest from the meat processing industry. A total of 143 applications requesting more than $28 million were submitted. Grants were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible businesses.
“The interest in this program shows that this industry is ready to improve its processes and increase its efficiency,” said Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik. “We are prepared to get these funds into the hands of operators quickly so that they can begin to implement their plans.”
“Ohio’s meat processing industry is incredibly important to our food supply chain,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “These grants will provide some much-needed help to facilities that are critical to maintaining an abundant food supply.”