Pennsylvania has released the regulations for a PA Farm Bill program that will help livestock producers serve local markets.

The $500,000 program will reimburse small meat processors for some of the cost of obtaining federal inspection, which is necessary for the meat they process to enter commerce.

Many small butcher shops are not USDA certified, meaning they aren’t much of a processing option for direct-marketing farmers.

Grants will be limited to $50,000 per company and 50% or less of the cost of the project.

Eligible businesses must have fewer than 10 employees or annual sales of less than $2.5 million.

The program was designed with southwestern Pennsylvania in mind. That part of the state is short on USDA-inspected custom meat processors.

The application period will run Aug. 15-Sept. 30.

Phil Gruber is the news editor at Lancaster Farming. He can be reached at (717) 721-4427 or Follow him @PhilLancFarming on Twitter.