Governor DeWine awards $15 million to strengthen food supply chain in Ohio

COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced additional state support to help strengthen the local meat supply chain and reduce reliance on out-of-state meat processors.

Seventy-five Ohio meat processors will receive grants totaling approximately $15 million to help them expand capacity and meet the growing demand for meat processing services. In Miami County, Bowman and Landes Turkeys, Inc. received $178,514 in this round of investments.

Wednesday’s awards are the second round of funding offered through the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program. DeWine and Husted, in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly, increased the amount of funding available through this program from $10 million to $25 million in April after the need for grants far exceeded the initial funding amount.

“I’m happy that we’ve now been able to help every qualifying meat processor who applied for assistance,” said DeWine. “Meat processors are essential to ensuring that our grocery stores and restaurants have protein available to feed Ohio families.”

“Meat processors have struggled with the supply chain issues that have also impacted other industries,” said Husted. “These grants will help meat processors increase productivity, which means they can increase the supply and lower costs for the consumer.”

The DeWine-Husted Administration prioritized the creation of the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program in the state’s 2022-2023 operating budget, which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly last year. Grant funding will be used to implement processing efficiencies, expand or construct facilities at existing sites, assist in training and certification, and improve harvest services.

Each company will receive a grant of up to $250,000, with half of the funds disbursed before projects are started and the other half awarded after the companies show that the initial funds were spent on eligible costs.

The Ohio Department of Development administered the Ohio Meat Processing Grant Program in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“We are working to get these funds into the hands of processors as soon as possible,” said Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik. “Ohio’s meat processors are eager to implement their plans to improve operations, and we want to help them get started quickly.”

“Ohio’s meat and poultry processors are a critical component of Ohio’s food and agriculture industry,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “These funds will help our processors do a more efficient job at what they do best – provide safe and wholesome products for our consumers.”

The grants announced Wednesday total $14,985,237 and will be awarded to meat processors in 45 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Including funds awarded in the first round, meat processors in 53 Ohio counties received grants totaling $24,978,289.