Six Michigan small agriculture businesses to split $1.2M in federal grants

What’s happening: Six Michigan small agriculture businesses were awarded $1.2 million in federal grants earlier this week, thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program. The MPIRG program is a result of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which was designed to help small and very small processing facilities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic and compete in the marketplace, helping companies reach more customers.

Who got it: The six companies each received a $200,000 grant. They include Country Smoke House in Almont; Clear Water Meats in Eau Claire; Thomas Elliott (Veritas Vineyard, LLC) in Jackson; Marrow in Detroit; and Merindorf Meats Inc. in Mason.

How they’ll be used: The MPIRG grants can be used to expand existing facilities, modernize processing equipment, and meet the necessary packaging, labeling, and food safety requirements required for a Federal Grant of Inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or to operate under a state's Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.

Why it’s important: "Michigan's food and ag sector is an economic powerhouse generating billions for the economy and supporting jobs in our communities," says Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). "Our farmers and food-based businesses continue to show their resiliency and ability to adapt. These funds from USDA provide additional support to help our small meat and poultry processors grow."

Click HERE to learn about more grant opportunities from the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.