NEW: Watch our May 8th webinar, The ABCs of Small Meat Processing Options in Minnesota, or view the presentation slides (PDF).

The AGRI Rapid Response Mini-Grant for Livestock Processing helps processors and certain producers respond to market issues causes by COVID-19. The program aims to increase slaughter, processing, and storage capacity for livestock products until existing markets return or new markets are developed.

Eligible Applicants

Minnesota meat, poultry, egg, and milk processors and Minnesota livestock producers in operation before March 1, 2020 may apply.

Meat processors must be one of the following:

  • USDA inspected slaughter and/or processing plant that is adding capacity
  • Minnesota Equal-To slaughter and/or processing plant that is adding capacity
  • Licensed custom exempt slaughter plant that is adding Equal-To slaughter
  • Licensed custom exempt slaughter plant that is adding capacity

In addition, all applicants must:

  • Be in good standing with the State of Minnesota, including:
    • No back taxes owed
    • No defaults on Minnesota State-backed financing for the last 7 years
    • Acceptable performance on past MDA grants
    • Compliant with current state regulations
  • Currently reside in Minnesota or be authorized to conduct business in Minnesota
  • Not be an employee or the spouse of an employee of the MDA

Eligible Expenses

Expenses must make immediate impact on the State’s capacity to process or store Minnesota-raised livestock, poultry, milk, and eggs. Only expenses incurred after April 20, 2020, are eligible for reimbursement.

Project examples:

  • Cooler walls and refrigeration units
  • Contractor costs and materials for installation of approved equipment, including plumbing, drainage, venting, and electrical work
  • Temporary cold storage including rented commercial space or refrigerated trucks
  • Portion cutters
  • Slaughter equipment such as cradles, saws, hooks, scalders, or sinks
  • Equipment or facilities to accommodate holding of larger number of animals in a humane manner (fences, gates, chutes)

Ineligible Expenses

General operating expenses (such as salary, fringe, and supplies) are not eligible.

Matching Funds

This mini-grant requires a 1:1 match. Matching funds can be in the form of cash, loans, other grants, or liquid capital assets dedicated to the project. However, other state funds, such as an AGRI Value-Added Grant, cannot be used for the matching funds. State funds are obtained through the budgeting process of the Minnesota Legislature or granted by a State agency.

Amount Available

We expect to award approximately $250,000. The maximum award is $5,000 and the minimum award is $1,000.


We will accept applications until June 15, 2020, or until all funds are gone, whichever is first.

Apply through our online application system.

When you submit your application, we encourage you to email a completed IRS Form W-9 to Courtney VanderMey at the same time.

Read the Request for Proposals (PDF) for all eligibility and requirements. If you have questions or need this information in an alternative format, please contact the program administrator, Courtney VanderMey.