MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, together with Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Randy Romanski, today announced five meat processors will receive meat processor grants from DATCP in 2022. These grants aim to grow Wisconsin’s meat industry and improve the long-term viability of the state’s livestock industry.
“Wisconsin’s agriculture industry isn’t just core to who we are as a state but to our statewide economy, with meat processors playing a critical role,” said Gov. Evers. “I am proud our budget investments will help meat processors across the state expand their businesses and operations, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure this industry grows and thrives for years to come.”
A total of $200,000 was available for this year’s meat processor grants with a maximum of $50,000 allowed for each project. Grant recipients were selected through a competitive review process and are required to provide a match of 100 percent of the grant amount. These grants are available through the 2021-23 biennial budget, which included a $200,000 annual investment to help meat processors increase throughput. The funds were released by the Joint Committee on Finance in October 2021. Gov. Evers had initially proposed a $2 million investment for meat processor grants in his 2021-23 biennial budget, but that amount was ultimately cut through the budget process.
In addition to the meat processor grants announced today, Gov. Evers also recently announced up to $5 million in meat talent development assistance funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act. This funding will be used to help attract and provide financial support to students in Wisconsin meat processing training programs, as well as support program development and connect the meat processing industry with potential employees
“Our diverse and resilient meat processors are a vitally important part of Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agriculture industry,” said DATCP Secretary Romanski. “We need to invest in our strengths. These grants will invest in our meat processing businesses, help strengthen the industry, and help the industry modernize and expand to meet the needs of farmers and consumers.”
DATCP received 100 applications with more than $4.4 million in grant requests. The five grant recipients and their planned projects include:
Nordik Meats, Viroqua | $25,000
Expanding frozen storage, purchase of a walk-in freezer unit and forklift, and increasing labor.
Paulie’s Chop Shop, Luxemburg | $50,000
Construction of a new butcher shop, training, and purchasing numerous pieces of equipment.
JM Watkins, Plum City | $50,000
Construction of a new building and purchase of a new smoker.
Crescent Meats, Cadott | $50,000
Addition of more than 19,000 square feet to existing facility.
Sorg Farm Packing, Darien | $25,000
Reconstruction of an existing carcass cooler and freezer and expansion of processing and cutting room.