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Iowa Meat Processor & Locker Resource Library

Butcher Trimming BeefTraining and Business Development Resources

This page serves as a central location for training, grant programs and other industry resources available through the state of Iowa to the meat processor and community meat locker industry.

Several work-based education and job training programs are currently available to meat lockers and processors to identify, develop and train skilled workers. In addition, a variety of business development and grant options are available to help assist the community-based meat processing industry.

Information below is provided through Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Department of Agriculture, Iowa State University, and the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) Development.


Registered Apprenticeships

Iowa’s leading Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs offer a earn while you learn model proven to help jumpstart new careers and support workforce pipelines for participating employers.

Registered Apprentices get direct, on-the-job experience while earning a wage – and acquire little to no debt during their training. Programs run one to five years, depending upon the occupation.

Iowa’s RA staff support both individuals looking to begin apprenticeships, and employers interested in creating programs to help them train, recruit, and retain workers. For more information, visit or contact

260F Iowa Jobs Training

The Iowa Jobs Training Program (260F) provides job training services that helps companies train their own employees and equip them with new skills. Eligible businesses work with local community colleges to assess training needs and determine funds that are available to provide training.

Participating businesses can benefit from valuable employee training at a reduced cost or no-cost to support their operations. Businesses must be engaged in interstate or intrastate commerce for the purpose of manufacturing, processing, assembling products, warehousing, wholesaling, or conducting research and development. For more information, contact

Future Ready Iowa Programs

Future Ready Iowa is a key state initiative that connects Iowans to the education and training opportunities needed for good paying jobs and careers. Future Ready Iowa’s goal is to have 70 percent of Iowans with education and training beyond high school by 2025.

With support for both high school students and adults, the program helps accelerate opportunities to meet workforce needs, addresses barriers, and better aligns education and workforce goals.

Unique grants and scholarships are also available. For more information, visit or contact

Summer Youth Internship Program

Future Ready Iowa’s Sumer Youth Internship Program is a unique grant opportunity aimed at creating valuable internship programs in Iowa’s communities.

The program has an annual grant process, and each summer helps local youth build key workforce skills primarily in high-demand fields. Funds may be used for services and resources to support costs of program participants, program staff time and indirect costs. For more information, visit

Iowa State University – Meat Science Short Courses

The Meat Science department at Iowa State University offers a number of short courses throughout the year. Open to all individuals, the courses focus on providing valuable information to those in the meat processing and meat trade industry, food production, and other relevant areas in meat science. For more information, visit

Butchery Innovation – Grant Program

Assisting the Expansion, Renovation & Establishment of Butchery Facilities

The Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Fund, administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), was created in 2021. The fund provides financial assistance in the form of grants to businesses for projects relating to small-scale meat processing, licensed custom lockers and mobile slaughter units.

For Fiscal Year 2024, the State of Iowa appropriated $1,000,000 to IEDA with direction to administer these funds for continuation of the program.

Program rule updates and application information is currently in development, with expectation to release information in early Fall 2023. For more information, visit:

Choose Iowa – Marketing and Promotion Grant Program

The Choose Iowa Marketing and Promotion Grant Program exists to identify, evaluate, and financially support programs and services that add value to agricultural products, enable new technologies, and support alternative marketing strategies.

For Fiscal Year 2023, $463,000 in grant funding is available. Applications are due December 15, 2022For more information, visit:

Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – Meat Inspection Bureau

Central location for all regulatory guidelines, inspection programs, processing/labeling requirements and information to the Iowa meat industry.

Iowa Meat Processors Association

The Iowa Meat Processors Association is an organization comprised of beef, pork, wild game, and poultry processors and allied businesses from throughout the state of Iowa.

Iowa State University – Meat Science and Extension

Iowa State University provides additional resources and guide publications to assist producers and individuals interested in opening a plant. For more information, visit

Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS)

The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) is part of the College of Engineering and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations (EDIR) at Iowa State University. Since 1963, CIRAS has partnered with Iowa companies and communities to help them prosper and grow. For more information, visit

Meat processing/Locker Contacts:


The Small Business Association can help support Iowa businesses on planning, development and loan considerations. For your local contact/office, click on the locations link in the upper navigation of the home page: Home - Iowa Small Business Development Centers (