Butchery program will give meat processors tools they need for growth

Farm and Food
Small Business
Small Towns
Contact(s)

Contact: Johnathan Hladik, policy director, johnathanh@cfra.org , 402.687.2100 ext 1014; Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate, teresah@cfra.org, 402.687.2100, ext. 1012. 

NEVADA, IOWA – The Center for Rural Affairs is pleased to see today's launch of a new program intended to strengthen Iowa’s food supply chain and rural economies. 

Applications for the new Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Program are now being accepted. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to eligible meat processing businesses, with a total of $750,000 available through the program in the current fiscal year. Application deadline is Nov. 15. 
 
Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center for Rural Affairs, applauds the state’s commitment to Iowa’s small meat processors. 

“Local lockers play an essential role for livestock producers, consumers, and local economies,” Hladik said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has tested and challenged both processors and producers across the country. This program will give processors the tools they need to grow their businesses, create jobs and increase activity on our main streets.”  

The Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Program was established as part of House File 857, introduced by Rep. Chad Ingels, and passed unanimously by the Iowa Legislature and signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds earlier this year. 

Businesses applying for the grant program must meet the following requirements:

  • Incorporated or authorized to do business in Iowa.  
  • Employ less than 50 individuals.   
  • Be an establishment that holds a current license from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) or an establishment that documents it is actively working with IDALS to obtain a license. 

“The team at the Iowa Economic Development Authority has done a great job of creating the rules and putting the grant program together, and did it at least a couple of months earlier than I ever expected,” Rep. Ingels said. “The program will be a great opportunity for small lockers across Iowa to make upgrades that really help them to better serve their customers.” 

Hladik agreed. 

"The Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Program is a great example of decision-makers being in touch with the needs of their constituents,” Hladik said. “Small processors often lack access to ready capital, so grant funding is their only option. We applaud Rep. Ingels, Gov. Reynolds, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority for establishing the program.” 

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Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

Feature photo: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signs House File 857 during a ceremony at Roehrkasse Meat Co. in Williamsburg, Iowa in June 2021.