March 11, 2023


USDA to invest over US$43 million in meat and poultry processing research



The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest more than US$43 million in meat and poultry processing research, innovation and expansion in support of its ongoing efforts to transform the US food system at every stage along the supply chain.


The American Rescue Plan and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) is funding this investment.


A US$5 million grant from the AFRI Center of Excellence for Meat and Poultry Processing and Food Safety Research and Innovation (MPPFSRI) will be allocated to the University of Arkansas.


14 small and mid-sized meat and poultry processors will also receive US$13.9 million in grants from the Meat and Poultry Processing Research and Innovation – Small Business Innovation Research Phase III.


These grants were administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


Wholestone Farms received a US$25 million grant from the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) for a significant plant expansion in Fremont, Nebraska. The USDA Rural Development administered this grant.


Tom Vilsack, the US Agriculture Secretary, said that farmers rely on technology to increase their productivity and profitability. He said under the Biden-Harris Administration, the USDA continues to invest in research processing expansion that will open up new and better markets and increase opportunities for small businesses and rural communities, thanks to historic funding investments.


The AFRI MPPFSRI programme encourages novel methods of processing meat and poultry by implementing cutting-edge production system technology that evaluates risk management and results in improved food safety overall. To encourage technological innovation and lower industry barriers to safety and processing, the University of Arkansas' Center for Scalable and Intelligent Automation in Poultry Processing will combine basic and applied research in meat and poultry processing and food safety.


Prior Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awardees with pertinent technologies were invited to apply for this funding opportunity as part of the MPPFSRI Phase III funding investments. To assist small and mid-size processors in implementing the technology, the chosen awardees must offer non-restrictive access or non-exclusive licences to any technologies or related enabling technologies created under this award.


-      US Department of Agriculture

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