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USDA invests in meat and poultry processing

By: Sydney Sheffield

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will invest $115 million to increase meat and poultry processing capacity. USDA is providing 15 awards totaling $115 million in 17 states.

“While American farmers and ranchers have been responding to the demand to produce more, their communities have struggled to see their share of the benefits,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is committed to championing meat and poultry processers, increasing competition, and lowering costs for working families. The announcement I’m making today highlights these producers and reflects the goals of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which advances a sustainable vision of agriculture, prioritizes the needs of our producers and small businesses, promotes competition, strengthens our domestic agricultural supply chains, and brings prosperity to people and places in rural parts of our country.”

USDA is providing five awards totaling $38 million through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) to help independent processers in five states. USDA is also providing 10 awards totaling $77 million under the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) in 12 states.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is also providing seven awards totaling $4.5 million to community and technical colleges in seven states through the Meat and Poultry Processing–Agricultural Workforce Training (AWT) program. These investments will build a pipeline of well-trained meat processing workers and support safe workplaces with fair wages for workers.

The investments will support projects in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Examples include:

  • In Montana, Mountain West Economic Development will use a $15 million MPILP investment to support meat and poultry processing and slaughterhouse operations in Flathead Valley.
  • In Michigan, three independent businesses will use a $2 million MPPEP award to help construct and equip a meat and poultry processing and retail facility: Mighty Fine Poultry Processing, LLC will slaughter and process poultry; Retro Meats Company, LLC will process red meat; and Swift Run Market, LLC will also process and sell meat products. Together, these activities are expected to increase demand for animals, increase opportunities for producers, and improve processing operations.
  • Farmers Union Foundation, a charitable organization that provides resources for rural economic development, will use an $800,000 MPILP award to lend funds to independent small- and medium-sized meat processors in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Learn more about MPPEP here.