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The application period for this program is closed.

The Meat Education and Training (MEAT) Grant Program provides the opportunity for Minnesota schools to establish or enhance meat cutting and butchery training programs.

The grant funds equipment, facility renovation, curriculum development, and faculty training for new and established programs.

Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants include public or private schools or school districts in Minnesota that seek to establish or enhance meat cutting and butchery training for secondary students (Grades 6 through 12, unless otherwise designated by the school district).

Priority will be given to applicants that collaborate with meat cutting and butchery programs at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State) or local industry partners.

Eligible projects

Project examples include but are not limited to:

  • Purchase of equipment required for a meat cutting program (e.g., refrigeration units, tables, saws, knives, cleaning and sanitizing equipment)
  • Contractor costs and materials for installation of approved equipment, including plumbing, drainage, venting, and electrical work
  • Facility renovation to accommodate meat cutting
  • Purchase of livestock and livestock products for instructional use
  • Curriculum development for new or enhanced meat cutting program
  • Licensing and permitting costs required for new or enhanced meat cutting program
  • Training faculty to teach the fundamentals of meat processing (limited to 10% of the grant funding)

Amount available

A total of $350,000 is available.

  • Schools may apply for up to $70,000.
  • Up to 10% of each school’s award may be used for faculty training.
  • Schools are not required to contribute matching funds.


The application period for this grant ended March 9, 2023.

To learn more about the program's eligibility, requirements, and priorities, read the 2023 Request for Proposals (PDF), Contact us if you need this information in an alternative format.

Questions & answers

Here are the answers to questions we received by the deadline to submit grant questions. If you need technical assistance with the online application, call the Grants Line at 651-201-6500.

A: Yes, you may propose curriculum that covers any aspect of meat processing. However, the focus of the Request for Proposals (RFP) is on cutting and butchery, and you are encouraged to emphasize these components to the extent possible.

A: Yes. In your application, you should explain the rationale for renting the mobile unit rather than purchasing it.

A: Equipment or facility renovation that is funded by the grant can be located at a local industry partner, provided that you clearly describe how the expenditure primarily benefits students rather than the meat processing facility. Meat processors are eligible to apply for the AGRI Value-Added Grant for investment in equipment for their own business needs (applications due March 15, 2023).

A: Yes, grant-funded projects may begin once the grant contract agreement is fully executed (signed by all parties).

A: Purchases must be made during the grant period, which ends on June 30, 2024. Grant funds may be used to purchase products that will be used after the grant period, as long as the products are received by June 30, 2024. You are encouraged to provide an estimated range of dates for receipt of purchases on the timeline in your application. Expenses for equipment installation and other services are eligible only if incurred and provided during the grant period.

A: Applicants determine which local businesses are appropriate to include in their proposed programming and define the roles and responsibilities of each partner. We encourage you to clearly describe the proposed framework of the partnership in the collaboration section of your application.

A: No, applicants determine the appropriate grade levels to serve with the proposed secondary curriculum, as long as those grades are included in the district's secondary school grades.

A: We have not defined “socio-economically disadvantaged communities”. We encourage you to clearly describe who your project will serve and include relevant demographics for the student population (e.g., free/reduced lunch rates, poverty rates, or being located in a food desert) to demonstrate how you are reaching underserved communities.

A: Yes, grant funds could be used to establish a meat cutting certificate at a post-secondary institution, but the funding would need to flow through a secondary school/school district and produce an end result that benefits secondary students. The post-secondary institution cannot apply independently.

A: Yes, only secondary career and technical education programs are eligible so they would need to be the primary recipient, and if awarded a grant, will be the grantee.

A: No, the college or university doesn't need to have an established program at the time of application. If funding is approved, instruction that benefits secondary career and technical education students must be offered by Fall 2024, but the instruction doesn't need to be a part of a formal program.

A: The MEAT Grant is intended to teach students about meat cutting and butchery. Your application should focus on the necessities for this type of instruction rather than what is needed for food preparation. If you apply for items that the review committee determines to be outside the scope of the purpose of the grant, they will have the ability to recommend funding for just those items that are considered eligible.