Here are some common questions about the AGRI Meat, Poultry, Egg, and Milk Processing Grant. If you have questions that are not addressed here, email them to with "AGRI Meat, Poultry, Egg, and Milk Processing Grant" in the subject line. We will post all questions and answers on this page as we receive them.

Organizational Eligibility

  • Q: Is this grant intended for smaller processing businesses? 
    • A: We welcome all applications from both large and small livestock processing businesses.

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Project Eligibility

  • Q: What are ineligible expenses for this grant?
    • A: Ineligible expenses include crop or livestock production equipment, expenses prior to the contract execution, and beginning inventory costs. Refer to the Request for Proposals for a comprehensive list of ineligible expenses.
  • Q: We purchase milk from Minnesota as well as surrounding states. How should we address this in the application?
    • A: Answer the question carefully and truthfully when you are asked about project impact on Minnesota agriculture. For example, explain how the project will increase sales of Minnesota livestock products and identify the sources of Minnesota products.
  • Q: I'm confirming that this grant can be used by poultry and rabbit farmers who are doing on-farm processing of their poultry and rabbits that then can be sold at farmers' markets (and from their farm) without a license (PL 90-492).
    • A: As long as poultry and rabbit farmers are compliant with state policies for on-farm processing, they are eligible and welcome to apply for the AGRI Meat, Poultry, Egg, and Milk Processing Grant. Read more about Poultry and Rabbit Processing.
  • Q: Is this grant one that I can use for a down payment for building a locker I already have land to put it on?
    • A: This would be a great grant for equipment for a meat locker. This grant would reimburse for any equipment and associated physical improvements to support slaughter and further processing of meat/poultry, in addition to increasing capacity, market diversification, and market access.
      However, the grant cannot help with land purchases, beginning inventory costs, start-up costs, beginning working capital costs, and license fees. Down payments for buildings are not listed as ineligible. The grant reviewers will make final determinations on project funding on a project by project, application by application basis.

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  • Q: What are the accepted forms of cash matches?
    • A: Matching funds can be in the form of cash, loans, other grants, or liquid capital assets dedicated to the project. Non-forgivable loans from the state may also be used as a match. However, other state grant funds cannot be used for the matching funds. In-kind contributions are not allowed either.
  • Q: The match seems confusing. Can this be clarified?
    • A: This is a reimbursement grant. You must provide documentation for the total cost of the project to receive the awarded reimbursement amount. You are responsible for at least 50% of the total cost to receive the first $25,000 and 75% of the total cost for every dollar after as a cash match (no in-kind matches).

Example: A grantee is working on a project that is expected to cost $400,000. The first $50,000 of expenses will be reimbursed $25,000. After that, the grantee would be eligible for $87,500 from the state and would have to contribute the remaining $262,500. In total, the grantee would be eligible for $112,500 from the state and would be responsible for the other $287,500.

Project Cost

Applicant Cost

Grant Reimbursement

First $50,000



Remaining $350,000



Total Cost: $400,000




  • Q: We saw in the Request for Proposals that this grant has a maximum award of $150,000. If the grant was partially funded, would the remainder be considered for an AGRI Value-Added Grant this spring?
    • A: Yes, you would have the opportunity to apply for the remaining unfunded portion as a part of the AGRI Value-Added Grant. The traditional matching requirements will apply for any funds awarded under that grant program.

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Application Process

  • Q: How accurate does the budget need to be?
    • A: The more detailed the budget is the better. The budget that is included in the application will be the basis of the budget in the contract, if a contract is awarded. Also be aware that if specific contractors are named in the application, grantees will not need to undergo a formal bidding process. This can save you time and effort later, as stated in the application.

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Other Questions

  • Q: Who can help me understand the Minnesota State "Equal To" USDA Inspection Program or E2 Inspection program for a processing plant?
    • A: You can reach out to Jennifer Stephes at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Dairy and Meat Inspection Division at 651-248-2566 or
  • Q: What would be the definition of further processed meat/poultry?
    • A: For purposes of this grant, “further processing” is processing beyond primal cuts or carcass breakdown, including cutting, grinding, smoking, cooking, canning, curing, refining, or rendering.

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