HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania is spending big money is a small way.
On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced $500,000 in small meat processor grants intended to improve the supply of locally produced meat in the commonwealth.
“Innovation in Pennsylvania agriculture is only rivaled by commitment,” Wolf said. “These 15 grantees have demonstrated their commitment to feeding Pennsylvania and driving the industry forward through innovation.”
In July, Wolf signed Act 36 to create the Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program, part of the PA Farm Bill, which provides reimbursement grants for the costs associated with meeting federal inspection and certification guidelines during the planning and start-up for a very small meat processor.
Very small meat processors are identified as existing entities with sales less than $2.5 million and less than 10 employees, or new entities planning to be that size.
The $500,000 in grants approved for funding will benefit 15 projects in 13 counties:
• Republic Food Enterprise Center, Fayette County, is getting $25,000 to provide a mobile poultry processing trailer to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
• Rettland Farm LLC, Adams County, received $28,250 to allow more meat processing capacity in the area and meet the growing need for processing meat from small, independent farmers.
• Kip’s Processing, Allegheny County, was given $50,000 to enable the creation of value-added products and increase donations to local charitable food systems.
• Anthony O’Neil, Clarion County, will use $50,000 to process meat for local farmers, which will help with the recent loss of the only local USDA inspected butcher.
• Richard Norbert, Clarion County, has been granted $50,000 to provide meat processing services to nearby farms.
• Lil’ Ponderosa, Cumberland County, has $40,500 to produce value-added products from meat sourced from local farms.
• Stryker Farm, Monroe County, will spend $21,500 to enable on-farm processing of meat and create 8-12 new jobs.
• Paul Kennedy, Montgomery County, gets $6,000 to permit the selling of meat to grocers and restaurants.
• David Jeffrey Reber Sr., Schuylkill County, now has $21,905 to enable a family farm butcher shop to sell meat and value-added products to the public.
• N.S. Troutman & Sons, Snyder County, gets $50,000 to reestablish a community butcher shop that specializes in organic beef.
• Michael Butterfield, Somerset County, will use $8,000 to support an approved meat processing facility to meet growing local demand.
• Stepniak Beef, Susquehanna County, is given $23,845 to add on on-site slaughtering facility to a 99-year-old butcher shop and meet the needs of local farmers and restaurants.
• Waldron Custom Meats, Susquehanna County, has $40,000 to create eight new jobs and reduce the backlog of meat that needs processed in the area.
• Hepler Meat Processing, Venango County, will use $35,000 to increase capacity and certification to allow the butcher shop to provide custom processing for local restaurants.
• Hickory Ridge Custom Cuts, Wayne County, has $50,000 to allow the butcher shop to produce specialized meats at a greater scale and create 3-5 jobs.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding toured Republic Food Enterprise Tuesday to learn how the company use its $25,000.
“Over the years, Republic Foods has made every effort to improve access to local food for Western Pa.,” Redding said. “Their mobile poultry processing unit is no exception. They’re breaking the mold of tradition, which is exactly what we hoped the PA Farm Bill would inspire.”