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Wisconsin awards meat processor grants

Five Wisconsin meat processing businesses have been awarded expansion grants.  State ag secretary Randy Romanski tells Brownfield 200-thousand dollars was in the state budget to help local processors meet demand. “And the goal with those grants is to increase throughput in the industry, help the industry expand, and clearly add capacity. What we’ve heard from the industry is that there are in some cases a year-and-a-half to two-year backlogs to get animals in processing.”

Romanski says the five businesses received no more than 50-thousand dollars each to improve their ability to serve more customers. “They’re looking to add freezer space, add square footage, capacity, just something that they can kind of keep up with the demand that’s out there. The good news is the demand is strong. People want to know where their food comes from.”

Romanski says the grant program had far more interest from producers than money, with around 100 of the state’s 500 meat processors applying for the grants.  The Secretary says he’s hopeful the grant program can be funded in future budgets because the need is there.

The five Wisconsin processors receiving this round of grants are:

Nordik Meats, Viroqua | $25,000
Expanding frozen storage, purchase of a walk-in freezer unit and forklift, and increasing labor. 

Paulie’s Chop Shop, Luxemburg | $50,000 for construction of a new butcher shop, training, and purchasing numerous pieces of equipment. 

JM Watkins, Plum City | $50,000 for construction of a new building and purchase of a new smoker.

Crescent Meats, Cadott | $50,000 for an addition of more than 19,000 square feet to an existing facility. 

Sorg Farm Packing, Darien | $25,000 for the reconstruction of an existing carcass cooler and freezer and expansion of the processing and cutting room. 

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