Here are some common questions about the AGRI Meat, Poultry, Egg, and Milk Processing (MPEM) Grant.

If you have questions that are not addressed here, email them to with "AGRI MPEM 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 applications from both large and small livestock processing businesses.

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Project eligibility

  • Q: Is a refrigerated van to transport product an eligible expense?
    • A: Yes, a van to transport product would be eligible if it allows access to new markets (not a routine replacement).
  • 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 RFP for a full list of ineligible expenses.
  • Q: Can I use this grant for a down payment for building a locker on land I already own?
    • A: Yes, this would be a great grant for equipment for a meat locker. The grant would reimburse for any equipment and associated physical improvements to support slaughter and further processing of meat or 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 also not accepted for the cash match.

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Application process

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

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Other questions

  • Q: Who can help me understand the Minnesota "Equal To" USDA Inspection program or E2 Inspection program for a processing plant?
  • Q: What would be the definition of further processed meat or 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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