RALEIGH – The application period is open for the fourth phase of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Increasing Meat Production, Efficiency and Capacity (IMPEC) grant program, which is geared to independent state meat and seafood processing facilities.
“The COVID pandemic showed us vulnerabilities in the food supply chain and the need for local products to meet consumer demand,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We are already seeing benefits to agribusinesses, farmers, and consumers from phases one, two and three of this program, and we want to build on that momentum. A total of $15 million in grants will be available in this fourth phase.”
Funding for this cost-share program was approved by the N.C. General Assembly and comes from federal American Rescue Plan Act money earmarked for North Carolina.
Two listening sessions are planned for July for processors and others interested in the grant program to learn more. They will be held July 12 in the large conference room at the Iredell Cooperative Extension Office in Statesville and on July 13 in the large conference room in the Cunningham Research Station in Kinston. The hours for both sessions are from 1-3 p.m.
In addition to increasing production, efficiency and/or capacity, projects can also include value-added processing. Project categories can include equipment and infrastructure, contractual/consultation, labor; training and retention, and other identified needs.
To be eligible for grant funding, applicants must contract with independent livestock producers or seafood harvesters to process animals or seafood and must be state or federally inspected, or it must produce further processed meat products under state or federal inspection or be a USDA inspected processor of shelf-stable meat or meat products. Proposals can be for beef, pork, small ruminant seafood, and catfish processing facilities.
Recipients must match $1 in funds or services for every $2 in grant funding. Cash or services must come from non-federal and/or state sources, and matching funds cannot be used as a match for any other federal or state cost-share project.
The grant application and required forms can be downloaded from the NCDA&CS website at www.ncagr.gov. Please note that grant proposals are due by the close of business on Sept.1.
For questions about the program in general, please contact Joe Hampton at 704-880-2488, Teresa Lambert at 828-312-0012, or Brad Batch at 919-707-3236. For more information on the application process, please contact email@example.com.