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Pingree Announces $600K to Strengthen Maine Meat Processing Supply Chains

Olde Haven Farm, Fork Food Lab, and Nest & Mullen were each awarded a $200,000 Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants through the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to help strengthen and develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced $600,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants awarded to three meat and poultry processors in Maine’s First Congressional District. Awarded through the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG), the funding will help strengthen and develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors. 

Grants awarded in Maine’s First District are as follows:

  • Olde Haven Farm LLC—Chelsea, Maine: $200,000 for Olde Haven Farm processing and storage facility expansion
  • Fork Food Lab—Portland, Maine: $200,000 for developing meat processing capacity for wholesale distribution of Maine-made products
  • Nest & Mullen LLC—Kennebunk, Maine: $200,000 to help the five-generation farm and butcher rebuild their meat processing plant that was destroyed in a September 2020 fire

“I consistently hear from Maine producers about the growing need for infrastructure to process their produce, dairy, meat, and poultry, locally. These federal grants help strengthen our food system and boost our food economy, and I’m thrilled to see the positive impact they have on Maine as these projects get underway,” said Pingree.

“The Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grants will help meat and poultry processors make necessary facility improvements, expand their businesses, and strengthen the nation’s food supply chain,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “These grants are one part of USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives and will contribute to our efforts to transform our food system.”

“USDA continues to build capacity and increase economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry producers across the country,” added USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt.

This funding for Maine is included in $21.9 million in grants awarded to 111 meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities in the U.S. to support expanded capacity and efficiency through the MPIRG program the USDA announced on Wednesday, bringing total funding to $54.6 million.

Pingree, a long-time organic livestock farmer who serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and the House Agriculture Committee, was an original cosponsor of the RAMP-UP Act, which directed the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA to provide grants to assist meat and poultry processing facilities in attaining federal food safety inspection. The bill was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and authorized the creation of the new MPIRG program to help small and very small processing facilities weather the pandemic, compete in the marketplace, and get the support they need to reach more customers.

In June 2022, Pingree hosted USDA Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt in Brunswick to discuss the USDA’s $2 billion investment to strengthen food supply chains and transform the American food system to be fairer, more competitive, and more resilient. 


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