CARES Act Grant Funding

This has been a tough year for the agriculture community. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has allocated CARES Act funds for agricultural recovery programs. The Renewable Fuels Retailers Recovery, Meat Processing Expansion and Local Protein and Produce programs will help our farmers, renewable fuels retailers and producers, and small meat processors as they recover from this pandemic.

Meat Processing Expansion and Development Program  |  Farm Produce and Protein Program  |  Iowa Renewable Fuel Retail Recovery Program

The Iowa Economic Development Authority is administering programs related to the Iowa Livestock Producer Relief Fund, the State Biofuel Grant Program, and the Iowa Beginning Farmer Debt Relief Fund. Producers can apply for IEDA-administered programs at iowabusinessrecovery.com beginning on Aug. 31, 2020.


Meat Processing Expansion and Development Program

Business Improvement Grant

One hundred and nine meat and poultry processors will receive grants to purchase or upgrade their equipment. These improvements must allow the facility to increase its processing capacity to accommodate the increased demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, these upgrades may help a custom-exempt processing plant prepare to become an official plant, or help an official plant make the upgrades necessary to qualify for the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.

Business Improvement Grant Recipients

Direct Marketing Grant

Eighty-five Iowa livestock producers will receive direct marketing grants to produce marketing materials, develop services, or purchase equipment to help transition to a direct-to-consumer sales strategy. This may include developing an online sales platform or an alternative sales channel. The recipients of this grant must direct-market less than 200 livestock or 2,000 poultry per year.

Direct Marketing Grant Recipients

Tuition Grant

Owners and/or employees of ten state-inspected and licensed meat and poultry establishments have been awarded tuition grants to participate in continuing education programs. The money must be used to enroll in an accredited meat sciences program and may be used for food safety training, like Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification.

Tuition Grant Recipients

If you have questions, please contact the program administrator at MeatGrants@iowaagriculture.gov.


Local Produce and Protein Program

The Local Produce and Protein Program grants help schools, colleges and universities, and early child care centers purchase more locally-grown fruits, vegetables and proteins for student meal programs. The grant program, which benefits both farmers impacted by COVID-19 supply chain disruptions and Iowa students, was funded by $750,000 of CARES Act money allocated by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Equipment Grant for K-12 Schools

Thirty-six K-12 schools were awarded grants to purchase kitchen equipment and supplies that allow the foodservice program to serve more fresh produce and protein to students. 

Download the list of recipients of the Local Produce and Protein Program - Equipment Grants for K-12 Schools

Local Produce and Protein Program – Equipment Grant for K-12 Schools, Information

Local Food Grant for All Iowa Schools, Colleges, Universities & Early Care Centers

108 K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and early care centers were awarded grants to buy produce, protein, liquid and shelled eggs, and dairy products directly from local producers, food hubs, or food auctions for their foodservice programs.

Download the list of recipients of the Local Produce and Protein Program - Local Food Grants for All Iowa Schools

Local Produce and Protein Program – Local Food Grant for All Iowa Schools, Colleges, Universities & Early Care Centers, Information

Equipment Grant for Producers and Food Hubs

Iowa’s specialty crop producers and food hubs were also eligible for a portion of the Local Produce and Protein Program funding. 54 producers and distributors were awarded grants to purchase supplies and equipment needed to serve their protein and produce in schools, colleges and universities, and early care centers. Eligible purchases included refrigerated trucks, cold storage units, and boxes and packaging equipment.

Download the list of recipients of the Local Produce and Protein Program - Equipment Grant for Producers and Food Hubs

Local Produce and Protein Program – Equipment Grant for Producers and Food Hubs, Information

Contact Tammy Stotts at tammy.stotts@iowaagriculture.gov or call 515-281-7657 with any questions regarding these grants.


Iowa Renewable Fuel Retail Recovery Program

Retail Operation Grant

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) has awarded relief funds to 167 renewable fuels retail sites that suffered business interruptions or income losses due to COVID-19. Funds from the program were awarded to support 100 ethanol projects and 137 biodiesel projects. The relief funds can be used to cover expenses incurred for the construction, installation, upgrade, and retrofit of equipment associated with the sale of renewable fuels. Replacement equipment must dispense a higher percentage blend of ethanol or biodiesel (for example from E10 to E15) than the existing equipment.

List of Renewable Fuel Retail Recovery Grant Recipients - By Project Type

List of Renewable Fuel Retail Recovery Grant Recipients - By Retail Location

Contact Paul Ovrom at paul.ovrom@iowaagriculture.gov or 515-242-6239 with any questions regarding the grant program.