State board proposes $50,000 grants for small-scale butchers


By: Perry Beeman, Iowa Capital Dispatch

July 16, 2021


The state would offer grants of up to $50,000 to small-scale butchers under rules that won preliminary approval of the Iowa Economic Development Authority board Friday.


The rules, for which the board approved a “notice of intended action,” would implement House File 857, approved by lawmakers earlier this year. That legislation set up the Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Fund in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.


The bill also asked for a study of setting up an artisanal butchery program at a community college. A state task force is expected to do that work.


Typically, proposed rules are considered for final approval after the notice, following a public comment period.


Lawmakers wanted to support smaller specialty butcher shops both to promote innovation and to improve competition in the industry. IEDA is expected to offer grants, low-interest loans and forgivable loans from its current funds.


The $750,000 initial legislative appropriation is intended to help with expansions or remodeling at small-scale meat processing facilities inspected by the state or federal governments, including those in mobile units or in rented spaces...