Applications are now being ac­­cepted for grants through the new Butchery Innovation and Re­­vitalization program, aimed at expanding small meat processors, lockers and butcher shops with fewer than 50 employees.

“During the pandemic, it was evident that our small-scale meat processors were instrumental in helping to meet the consumer demand,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “This program is the key to unlocking greater potential for those facilities by providing the resources needed to expand their processing capacity and help al­­leviate disruptions in the supply chain. This investment also will serve as a catalyst for jobs, rural revitalization and innovation.” 

Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to eligible businesses, with a total of $750,000 available through the program in the current fiscal year. 

The program was established and passed by the Iowa legislature during the 2021 legislative session. The intent of the program is to strengthen Iowa’s food supply chain and rural development. 

To be eligible, businesses must be incorporated in Iowa, employ fewer than 50 people and hold a current license or be already in the process of obtaining a license from the Iowa Department of Ag­riculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to process meat in the state.

“One of the biggest challenges faced by Iowa’s small-scale meat lockers is a lack of access to capital, which prevents them from making investments in their businesses,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “I’m excited to see this program roll out and know it will make a significant difference for locker owners, livestock producers, consumers and our rural communities.” 

A copy of the draft application, application FAQs and checklist are available online at