Venango County Resident Receives Grant to Increase Supply of Locally Produced Meat

| November 27, 2019

beef cattleHARRISBURG, Pa. – A Venango County resident received a grant to increase the supply of locally produced meat.

Hepler Meat Processing, Venango County, received $35,000.00 to increase capacity and certification to allow the butcher shop to provide custom processing for local restaurants.

“Innovation in Pennsylvania agriculture is only rivaled by commitment,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “These 15 grantees have demonstrated their commitment to feeding Pennsylvania and driving the industry forward through innovation.”

Wolf announced yesterday the approval of $500,000.00 in Small Meat Processor Grant to fund 15 projects to improve the supply of locally produced meat in the Commonwealth.

In July of this year, Wolf signed Act 36 to create the Very Small Meat Processor Grant Program, part of the state’s first-ever Pennsylvania 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 ten employees, or new entities planning to be that size.

The $500,000 in small meat processor grants approved for funding will benefit 15 projects in 13 counties.

In addition to the Venango County project, other approved projects include:

  • Republic Food Enterprise Center, Fayette County – $25,000 to provide a mobile poultry processing trailer to South Western Pennsylvania
  • Rettland Farm LLC, Adams County – $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 – $50,000 to enable the creation of value-added products and increase donations to local charitable food systems
  • Anthony O’Neil, Clarion County – $50,000 to process meat for local farmers, to help with the recent loss of the only local USDA inspected butcher
  • Richard Norbert, Clarion County – $50,000 to provide meat processing services to nearby farms
  • Lil’ Ponderosa, Cumberland County – $40,500 to produce value-added products from meat sourced from local farms
  • Stryker Farm, Monroe County – $21,500 to enable on-farm processing of meat and create 8-12 new jobs
  • Paul Kennedy, Montgomery County – $6,000 to permit the selling of meat to grocers and restaurants
  • David Jeffrey Reber, Sr., Schuylkill County – $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 – $50,000 to reestablish a butcher shop in the community that specializes in organic beef
  • Michael Butterfield, Somerset County – $8,000 to support an approved meat processing facility to meet growing local demand
  • Stepniak Beef, Susquehanna County – $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 – $40,000 to create 8 new jobs and reduce the backlog of meat that needs processed in the area
  • Hickory Ridge Custom Cuts, Wayne County – $50,000 to allow the butcher shop to produce specialized meats at a greater scale and create 3-5 jobs

Yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding toured Republic Food Enterprise to learn how they’ll use their $25,000 Small Meat Processor Grant, one of the 15 approved for a total of $500,000, to improve the supply of locally produced meat through a mobile poultry processing trailer for South Western Pennsylvania.

“Over the years, Republic Foods has made every effort to improve access to local food for Western PA,” said Secretary Redding. “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.”

For more information on the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, visit agriculture.pa.gov.


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