The application period for Phase 4 of IMPEC grants is open, with proposals due by Sept. 1. The grants are targeted to small to mid-sized independent meat and seafood processors.
Summary of Talking Points:
- We recently opened Phase 4 of the IMPEC grants for small- to mid-sized independent meat and seafood processors.
- Listeners may recall that IMPEC stands for Improving Meat Production Efficiency and Capacity. The name pretty much spells out the goals of the program – to increase our local capability to produce meat and seafood.
- This round we have $15 million in grants thanks to the N.C. General Assembly, who approved funds for this program from money from the federal American Rescue Plant Act.
- I am very proud of this program because it addresses a need for more processing that we saw during the pandemic.
- When consumers began sourcing more meat products locally during the pandemic, it created an opportunity for livestock producers. But when producers needed to process more animals to meet demand, we saw long wait times with independent processors because they simply did not have the capacity.
- When these federal funds became available to the state, we quickly developed the framework of the program based on the need we saw and then our staff worked hard to solicit proposals from processors and get these projects underway.
- The reach of these IMPEC grants is truly from the farm to the consumer and from western N.C. to the East.
- The deadline to submit proposals for Phase 4 is by close of business Sept. 1.
- Interested processors can go +online at www.ncagr.gov to find the grant application and information on how to apply.
- Proposals can be for beef, pork, small ruminants, seafood and catfish processing facilities. Projects can also include value-added processing.
- We are hosting two listening sessions in July for processors and others interested in the program. They will be held July 12, at the Iredell Cooperative Extension Office in Statesville, and July 13 at the Cunningham Research Station in Kinston. Both will be from 1-3 p.m.
- We have highlighted several of the meat and seafood processors on our blog who have received grants in earlier phases and I can tell you, these grants are making a difference to processors, producers and consumers.
- I urge consumers to continue to support your local farmers. Remember, if you want the freshest, it’s Got to Be NC Agriculture.