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Hope Meat Processor Grant Recipient

By Dale Gathright, Jr., 10/6/20 5:19 PM

 

LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has announced the recipients of the $5 million in funding provided by the Arkansas CARES Act Steering Committee and the Arkansas Legislative Council for the Arkansas Meat Processing Grant Program.

15 facilities were selected for funding, including JACO Meats of Hope.

“Recipients of this funding will help address the lack of local, small-scale meat processing capacity in Arkansas that limited our producers’ ability to meet consumer demand for locally grown meat products during the COVID-19 related disruptions. Expanded processing capacity will build resilience within the industry and provide benefit to producers, consumers, and our rural communities,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.

A review committee consisting of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association, Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Livestock Marketing Association, Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, and the United States Department of Agriculture evaluated the applications and made the award selections.

The Department received 45 applications requesting a total of more than $30 million in grant funding. Selected recipients will receive 79.7 percent of the amount requested up to a cap of $500,000 per application.

Collectively, the applicants receiving awards anticipate increasing processing capacity by more than 1260 cattle, 850 hogs, 7,000 poultry, and eight goats and sheep per month. They also anticipate utilizing 180 full-time positions and 38 part-time positions.

Arkansas ranks 10th in the nation in the value of animals and animal products that provide more than $5.6 billion to the state’s economy annually. In the 2019 production year, Arkansas was ranked 10th in the nation in beef cow inventory and 25th in the nation in cattle and calves with 510,641,000 pounds of production.