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Responding to increased consumer demand for custom meats, the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded 15 grants Friday to small-scale meat processors.
Most of the $725,250 in grants from the Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Fund were for $50,000, the maximum allowed. They will support $3,169,377 in investments by the meat processors.
The butchery program was created by the Iowa Legislature in 2021 in response to demand by consumers seeking artisanal and custom meats, often from farm-to-table producers, and by supply chain issues caused by disruption in the commercial met processing sector due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The demand showed a “tremendous opportunity” for small-scale processors, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said. The grants will help custom lockers and tap into “a lasting trend of folks wanting to know more about where their food comes from.”
The IEDA received 54 applications requesting more than $2.4 million.
By administrative code, processors had to score at least 50 percent on their applications. The average score was 75 percent.
Based on available funding, 15 grants were awarded.
Eastern Iowa grant recipients include Dan’s Locker in Earlville, where Dan Wheeler said he has orders booked into 2023.
A complete list of recipients can be found at https://bit.ly/33CFfoZ.
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