The Meat Processing Train & Retain Grant offers funding to partner organizations to assist small- to medium-sized meat and poultry processors with hiring and training new employees.

For this grant, we define small- to medium-sized meat and poultry processors as those that:

  • Are licensed by the state of Minnesota or the federal government, and
  • Have fewer than 150 employees.

Eligibility and funding priorities

Eligible partner organization applicants include:

  • Foundations engaged in economic development
  • Community development financial institutions
  • Federally recognized economic development districts
  • Community development corporations

This program prioritizes:

  • Partner organizations whose efforts would target or serve meat or poultry processing operations owned by individuals in historically underserved communities, businesses that directly serve historically underserved communities, or individuals from historically underserved communities with an interest in working in meat processing.
    • Historically underserved communities include businesses owned by women; veterans; persons with disabilities; American Indian or Alaskan Natives; members of a community of color; young people; and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual (LGBTQIA+).
  • Partner organizations working in cooperation with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Funding from this program can be used for expenses such as:

  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Signing and retention bonuses for new hires
  • Employee relocation assistance
  • Other related expenses

See the request for proposals (RFP) for more information on eligible expenses.

    Amount available

    We expect to award up to $544,000 using a competitive review process.

    • Awards will range from $10,000 to $250,000.
    • No processor may receive more than $50,000 from this grant.
    • No employee may receive more than $10,000 through this grant.

    Projects must be completed by June 30, 2026.


    Applications are due by 4 p.m. Central Time (CT) on Thursday, April 25, 2024.

    • Carefully read the full Meat Processing Train & Retain RFP (PDF) for eligibility and requirements.
    • We encourage you to apply online.
      • If you are a new user, you will need to create an account.
      • Once you are logged in, select “Meat Processing Train & Retain Grant.”

    Contact us if you need this information in an alternative format.

    Meat Processing Train & Retain Grant Q&A

    We will accept program questions until 4 p.m. CT on April 18, 2024, and will post all questions and answers on this page.