Carnegie-based meat processor Kip’s Processing was among the 15 projects recently funded to improve the supply of locally produced meat statewide. The family-owned business received $50,000 as part of a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Very Small Meat Processor grant program.
Owner Kip Padgelek said the money will be used toward improving sanitation, buying a new sausage linker and upgrading coolers.
“We’re going to be able to expand our business and grow,” Padgelek said. “This funding is really going to help us get to that point.”
Fourteen other small meat processors were given funding, totalling $500,000.
State spokesperson Shannon Powers said businesses and farms will use the grants to expand operations in the community. For example, Hepler Meat Processing in Venango County said it will use its $35,000 to increase its butcher shop capacity to provide processing for local restaurants.
“This particular grant program helps them fill that gap between their customer demand and their need, whether it’s equipment or training to meet food safety needs in order to fill that demand,” Powers said.
The grant program is part of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill that was passed in July. The legislation provides support to the state's agricultural industry, specifically by reimbursing farms for the costs of meeting federal inspection and certification guidelines.