March 1, 2022


USDA commits US$215 million in grants to support meat and poultry processing



The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it has committed US$215 million in grants and other support to expand meat and poultry processing options, boost the food supply chain, and provide rural communities with jobs and economic prospects, Capital Press and Advertiser Tribune reported.


The funding is part of the Biden administration's US$1 billion investment in expanding processing that was announced in January this year.


Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary, said the funding is for projects that require a little help to accelerate their implementation plan.


US$150 million in grants of up to US$25 million each will be made available by USDA Rural Development to fund startups and expansion activities in meat and poultry processing.


The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture will provide a further US$40 million towards workforce development and training, and the Agricultural Marketing Service will provide US$25 million to offer technical assistance to grant applicants and others seeking resources related to meat and poultry processing.


Vilsack said the funding will sponsor 15 new projects, with US$225 million to be made available for projects in the infancy stage.


The funding was announced on the one year anniversary of the Biden administration's executive order to make agricultural markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient.


Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president, applauds USDA efforts. He said investing in new processing choices and generating jobs are excellent steps toward building fair markets and improving America's supply chain.


Tanner Beymer, National Cattlemen's Beef Association director of regulatory affairs and market regulatory policy said the establishment of regional processing facilities would boost resiliency within the beef supply chain and assist cattle ranchers regain marketing leverage.


Eric Deeble, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition policy director said this was an important step towards addressing significant structural issues in the sector, such as consolidation and processor bottlenecks for sustainable producers that restrict their ability to get their products to market.


-      Capital Press and Advertiser Tribune

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