Small Meat Processors in Arkansas Get $5M in CARES Grants

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The Arkansas Department of Agriculture announced late Monday 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.  

The recipients are: 

  • A&C Meat Co. of Hot Springs;
  • B&R Meat Processing of Winslow;
  • CR Custom Meat Processing of Bismarck;
  • Cypress Valley Meat Co. of Pottsville; 
  • Deaton Slaughterhouse of Caddo Gap;
  • JACO Meats of Hope;
  • JD Custom Meat Processing of Greenwood;
  • Key’s Family Butcher Shop of Van Buren;
  • Miller’s Quality Processors of Arkansas of Dardanelle;
  • Natural State Processing of Clinton;
  • Ramsey’s Red River Smokehouse of Judsonia;
  • Ride Runners Processing of Jonesboro; 
  • T&A Womack Farms of Pleasant Plains;
  • Tilton’s Processing of Harrison; and
  • 4-M Butcher Barn of Gillham.

The department received 45 applications requesting a total of more than $30 million. The recipients will receive 79.7% of the amount they requested, up to a cap of $500,000 per application. 

“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,” state Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward said in a news release. “Expanded processing capacity will build resilience within the industry and provide benefit to producers, consumers, and our rural communities.”

Collectively, the recipients anticipate increasing processing capacity by more than 1,260 cattle, 850 hogs, 7,000 poultry and eight goats and sheep per month. They also anticipate needing 180 full-time and 38 part-time employees.