ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is opening up a second round of grants to help livestock processing plants and producers increase capacity for slaughter, processing and storage in the wake of supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many processors made investments to increase their capacity in order to respond to the industry wide slow-downs during the COVID-19 outbreak, and we want to help them recover some of those costs,” Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “Others may still be considering adding capacity, and we want to encourage them to do so.”

The Rapid Response Mini-Grant for Livestock Processing offers $1,000 to $5,000 to applicants to offset expenses such as adding coolers, refrigeration units, slaughter and processing equipment. Eligible applicants include Minnesota processors of meat, poultry, eggs and milk and Minnesota livestock producers who need storage capacity for processed products until existing markets return or new markets are developed. Businesses that did not receive funding in the last round or did not receive the full $5,000 amount can apply.

Grant funds can be used to cover expenses incurred between March 2 and Nov. 30 and require a 1:1 match. Applicants must be in business at the time they apply.

Applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. Nov. 30, or until all funds are depleted, on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to apply, visit https://bit.ly/3kBt1QQ.

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