New AGRI grant awards over $700,000 in first year

Photo by Robert Williams
Lakes Processing of Detroit Lakes was one of two area meat processors, and 15 statewide, to be awarded sizable grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s meat, poultry, egg, and milk processing program.

Area meat processors in Becker and Otter Tail Counties were among businesses to receive funds provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

The MDA awarded $709,235 in 2022 meat, poultry, egg, and milk processing grants to 15 recipients across Minnesota in its first year of operation.

Lakes Processing, Incorporated of Detroit Lakes was awarded a grant of $52,601.25 to purchase equipment for smoking meat, bacon cutting, and meat wrapping.

Midwest Meats, LLC, of New York Mills will receive $40,000 to add a kill floor and purchase production equipment.

“The past couple years has clearly shown us the need for Minnesota farmers to have expanded options for processing their livestock and related products,” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “This new grant helps butchers increase the resiliency of their processing and provides customers with increased access to fresh meat, poultry, egg, and milk products.”

The grant program aims to facilitate the start-up, modernization, or expansion of meat, poultry, egg, and milk processing businesses. The intent of the program is to increase sales of Minnesota-raised livestock products by investing in equipment and physical improvements that support processing, capacity, market diversification, and market access.

Funding for this program is made available through the MDA’s Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) program, which administers grants to farmers, agribusinesses, schools, and more throughout the state of Minnesota. 

The AGRI Program exists to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy sectors.