Lucas Applauds USDA Implementation of Ramp-Up Act by Creating Grants to Increase Capacity and Expand Access in Meat and Poultry Inspection Operations

June 21, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $55.2 million in competitive grant funding available through the new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program.

“Throughout the past year, America’s meat producers and processors have faced unprecedented market challenges. At a time when producers are experiencing increased demand for high-quality meat, meat processors across the United States are racing to increase their capacity to meet the demands of consumers and producers,” said Congressman Lucas. “USDA’s new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant program will give processors the tools to become federally inspected facilities, which widens their customer base while maintaining strong inspection standards. It will also reduce the financial burden for smaller meat processors, by reducing the high cost of compliance with Federal requirements that are barriers to entry and/or survival. I’m proud to see this program being implemented to expand the opportunities for not only Oklahoma’s processing facilities, but meat processors across the United States."

In July 2020, Congressman Lucas and former Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (MN-07) introduced the Requiring Assistance to Meat Processors for Upgrading Plants (RAMP-UP) Act , which would establish a grant program to help small meat processors make improvements necessary to meet federal food safety standards and bolters the meat supply chain. The MPIRG is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which included an amended version of the RAMP-UP Act.

“We are building capacity and increasing economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Through MPIRG, meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities can cover the costs for necessary improvements to achieve a Federal Grant of Inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or to operate under a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.”

The MPIRG program helps processors qualify for federal inspection, which would, in turn, enable them to sell across state lines and into export markets. Applications must be submitted electronically through by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, August 2, 2021.