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Economic and Business Development

Meat Production & Processing

Indiana Gives the Green Light for Meat Production & Processing

Since the onset of COVID-19, expanding the capacity of meat production/processing in Indiana has become an emerging priority. The State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), the Indiana Economic Development Association (IEDA), the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Agribusiness Initiative have been working diligently to support funding and technical assistance intended to fortify local and regional food systems by creating new revenue streams for the state’s producers and processors.

The goal is to “build in” resiliency so we face the future stronger than we have been in the past. In fact, ISDA intends to roll out a revolving loan fund for meat processors in January. Applications will open January 2024 and will be on a rolling application timeline through 2026.

Five of Indiana’s regions have been particularly proactive in seeking solutions by developing Agricultural Strategy Plans. Many of these plans identify the need for more meatpacking/meat-processing/meat inspecting in their local communities. Residents of these regions (representing 36 counties) could benefit from a USDA grant recently secured by PCRD and the Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative to those interested in starting or expanding a meat-packing/meat-processing business through free technical assistance and scholarships awarded to Purdue University’s Boiler Butcher Basics Workshops, if they meet the following criteria:

Fewer than 50 employees

Meat processing startup or from a company with less than $1 million in gross revenues

Want to Receive Free Technical Assistance to Start or Expand Your Meat-Packing/Meat-Processing Business?

The Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative can help you answer questions about funding options through no-cost, professional business advising and technical assistance. Advisors who have owned meat-packing/meat-processing businesses and/or been employed in the industry will share their experience and expertise with anyone interested. Click on the link below to find out how!

Do Your Meat-Packing/Meat-Processing Employees or Supervisors Need to Learn English or Spanish?

In addition to advising and skill-building, the USDA grant secured by PCRD in partnership with the Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative, focuses on the communication needs of small Hoosier meat-packing/meat-processing companies. Responding to requests from employers, this grant will offer one session of Reality Spanish/Reality English (in collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College) for agribusiness. This pilot program will facilitate employee communication between speakers of both languages. The instruction will be focused on specific job-skill instruction for safety and team-building purposes, using a “connection not perfection” hands-on, language learning approach. This is the first of what PCRD hopes will be many trainings focused on native-language, job-specific skill and workplace English as a second language (ESL) instruction for emergent bilinguals in Indiana.

Attend a Meat & Greet Workshop

To find out more about how to access any of the opportunities mentioned above, please attend one of our Meat & Great Workshops either in-person or virtually. To register for one of these workshops, follow the associated info & registration link below.

Meat & Greet Schedule (Eastern Time)

December 19 @ 12:30 PM

Petersburg, IN (in person)

December 20 @ Noon

Greensburg, IN (in person)

December 20

Online Workshop Opening

Coming Soon

December 21 @ 11:00 AM

Kokomo, IN (in person)

Assistance for All!

There are opportunities for all meat packers and processors in Indiana through engagement with the Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative – everyone (except the very largest companies with more than 1,000) qualifies for some type of FREE assistance, so don’t miss out! Contact the Indiana SBDC Agribusiness Initiative today for help with funding, expansion, government contracting, exporting, and so much more.

Boiler Butcher Basics Workshop Registration Information

The Boiler Butcher Basics course is designed to give hands-on training in harvest, fabrication, and processing of pork, poultry, lamb/goat, and beef to anyone interested in learning these critical skills. This course is designed for those needing job training, or those who want to understand more about raising and harvesting their own meat.


All sessions will take place in the Land O’ Lakes Inc. Center for Experiential Learning, Purdue University (720 Clinic Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2041). Parking will be in the Harrison Street Parking Garage across the street and is included.

Dates, Fees & Registration

Each program is a one-day trainings focused on the harvest and fabrication of one species (beef, pork, lamb/goat, or poultry). Below are the available dates and fee for each program.

Schedule of 2024 Workshops

Jan. 18, 2024

Beef Workshop ($600)

Jan. 23, 2024

Beef Workshop ($600)

Feb. 13, 2024

Pork Workshop ($400)

Mar. 19, 2024

Lamb Workshop ($400)

Apr. 2, 2024

Poultry Workshop ($200)

More details and registration instructions will be available soon.

Register for a workshop and/or determine your eligibility for a scholarship by applying here at least 7 days in advance. Fees will be collected on the day of the program, covering equipment, parking, meals/breaks, and course materials. All registered participants will be sent specific information (reminders, directions, etc.). Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action university. If you require special accommodations to attend this event or have any questions about this event, please email Stacy Zuelly – szuelly@purdue.edu or call her at 765-494-3276.