The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (KADB) recently approved $1 million for the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF) Meat Processing Investment Program.
“We want to take every step we can to help the farmers and producers who are keeping food on our table during this pandemic,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “This program will help our smaller processors, who have been overwhelmed during this outbreak, to adapt, expand their operations and maintain the food chain we all depend on.”
In response to COVID-19, the KADB developed the Meat Processing Investment Program to provide financial incentives for Kentucky meat processors to expand their operations to process more Kentucky beef, dairy, pork, lamb, sheep, goat and poultry products. Three separate in-vestment areas include Kentucky Meat Processor Incentives, Simplified Processor Capacity Expansion and Large-Scale Processing Expansion.
Through the Level 1 Kentucky Meat Processor Incentives (Level 1) investments, eligible appli-cants can receive up to $20,000 per facility. This is for processors needing support with costs related to increasing processing capacity of Kentucky animals custom processed under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection. Level 1 incentives will be paid per head pro-cessed above a pre-determined baseline at the following rates: $100/cattle; $50/hog; $25/sheep or goat; and $1/poultry.
For more information or to apply for Level 1, contact Danielle Milbern, Project Manager, at 502-782-1771 or email@example.com.
Eligible applicants for the Simplified Processor Capacity Expansion (Level 2) can receive up to $37,500 in funding for expenses related to small to modest facility expansion, improvements or upgrades. Level 2 eligible investments include freezers, coolers, penning areas, kill floors, ma-chinery and equipment, restorations, food safety certifications, and building expenses. Request for items or practices not listed may be considered upon approval from the KADB Meat Pro-cessing Expansion Committee. For Level 2 inquiries, contact Renee Carrico, Project Manager, at 502-782-2719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA-inspected processors or those actively planning to become USDA-inspected may be eligible for the Large-Scale Processing Expansion (Level 3) investments. Processors interested in making extensive facility improvements to process more Kentucky meat products can re-ceive up to $250,000 in funding. For more information on Level 3, contact Danielle Milbern, Project Manager, at 502-782-1771 or email@example.com.
“This three-tiered investment approach incentivizes our processors to do more with what they have to increase the volume of meat processed in Kentucky,” said Warren Beeler, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP). “I am very proud of the board’s bold action that will help grow an area of our food chain that has been overwhelmed due to the pandemic.”
GOAP staff, working in conjunction with the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural De-velopment (KCARD) and the University of Kentucky, are currently available to assist Ken-tucky processors interested in applying for funding in any of the program areas.
For more information on the programs offered through GOAP, visit our webpage at agpoli-cy.ky.gov.