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Indigenous Animals Grant


For any questions related to the Indigenous Animals Harvesting and Meat Processing Grant Program (IAG), contact

The Indigenous Animals Harvesting and Meat Processing Grant Program (IAG) was part of USDA’s Build Back Better Initiative and Food Systems Transformation Initiative to support the priorities of Tribal Nations in meeting the needs of traditional harvesting methods and indigenous animals. This program funded projects which will invest in Tribal Nations’ supply chain resiliency, indigenous animals, restoring local indigenous food systems, and indigenous processing methods, and supported expanding local capacity for the harvesting, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, or distribution (communal or commercial) of meat, poultry, seafood, and other animals that provide culturally appropriate food and food security to tribal communities. The primary purpose was to expand or enhance indigenous animals and meat processing capacity in Indian Country. This program was fully funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and is no longer accepting applications.

Applications must include indigenous animals and meat processing activities, such as:

  • Build, expand, or upgrade community indigenous meat, food-sovereignty harvesting/processing facilities (fixed or mobile)
  • Purchase, renovation, and modernization of an inoperable or outdated processing facility
  • Enhance infrastructure to improve humane handling and humane slaughter.
  • Purchase and install traditional implements and equipment necessary, with modifications as appropriate, for indigenous slaughter and processing methods.
  • Expand processing capacities to add species or increase volume.
  • Purchase or upgrade mobile harvest and/or processing units and supporting equipment.
  • Purchase or upgrade processing and manufacturing equipment (including cutting equipment, mixers, grinders, breaders, sausage stuffers, smokers, curing equipment, pipes, motors, pumps, and valves).
  • Purchase or upgrade cold storage to support the animal protein processing facilities.
  • Construction of holding pens.
  • Construction of wastewater management structures.

Applicants can include secondary activities which relate to the expansion of animal protein processing capacity, such as:

  • Initiate or upgrade waste management and wastewater solutions.
  • Purchase or upgrade composting or rendering equipment related to the processing of the animal protein.
  • Develop packaging and labeling capacities (e.g., sealing, bagging, boxing, labeling, conveying, and product moving equipment)
  • Develop or conduct Hazard, Analysis, and Critical Control Points (HACCP) consultation, training, or technical assistance.
  • Improve workplace safety and working conditions.
  • Develop, customize, and install climate-smart equipment that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases efficiency in water use, improves air and/or water quality, and/ or meets one or more of USDA’s climate action goals:
  • Develop or improve workforce recruitment, training, apprenticeships, and retention to ensure expansion projects will be adequately staffed and crewed and offer opportunities for advancement to workers.

Additional Resources

IAG Office Hours: