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Note: The application period for the Meat Processor Grants closed January 14, 2022.
The Meat Processor Infrastructure Grant strives to grow Wisconsin’s meat
industry and improve the long-term viability of the livestock sector through
services to meat processing establishments.
Meat Talent Development Program
This program aims to help attract students to meat careers, provide financial support to students in Wisconsin meat processing training programs, support program development, and connect the meat processing industry with potential employees.
Livestock and Meat Processing Industry Economic Contribution
Since the late 1800's, Wisconsin's livestock and meat industries have played a key role in our state's economy. They directly employ well over 50,000 people and, with warehousing and distribution included, they contribute $27 billion to our state's economy. That is nearly 27% of Wisconsin's $104.8 billion agriculture industry.
Wisconsin's rich environment allows farmers to raise a wide variety of livestock including beef cattle, hogs, and poultry. Of the 3.5 million cows in Wisconsin, approximately 1.4 million of them are beef cattle. There are also about 732,000 hogs and nearly 56 million chicken broilers across the state.
There are nearly 500 state, federal and custom exempt meat processing facilities in Wisconsin. In 2018, Wisconsin's livestock and meat industry harvested more than 2.1 million animals for beef, pork, and chicken with a combined live weight of nearly 2.2 billion pounds. These meats are sold domestically across the U.S. and to more than 90 countries globally.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's Animal Health, Food and Recreational Safety, Agricultural Resource Management, and Agricultural Development Divisions are highly engaged with the producers and processors that provide safe and quality meats. These division staff also serve as a resource to connect producers with university, state, and federal programs.