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Powder Bulk Solids Staff
January 9, 2023
3 Min Read
Image courtesy of Pixabay (representative image)
The Biden-Harris Administration is investing $9.6 million across the country and taking several other steps to help farmers, ranchers, processors, and rural businesses diversify the nation’s meat supply, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced.
“USDA is putting the needs of farmers, ranchers and consumers at the forefront of the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to strengthen the resiliency of America’s food supply chain while promoting competition,” said Vilsack. “USDA has undertaken a department-wide approach to coordinate ways to deliver more opportunities and fairer prices for producers, to give people access to healthier foods, eliminate bottlenecks in the food supply chain, and ultimately lower prices for consumers.”
Secretary Vilsack announced 25 new investments to increase independent meat processing capacity.
The Department is awarding 23 Value Added Producer Grant program grants totaling $3.9 million to help producer-owned companies process and market new products. USDA is also providing guarantees for a total of $5.7 million in loans to two companies through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program using American Rescue Plan funding. This program supports new investments in infrastructure for food aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution.
Through these two programs, USDA is investing in 25 projects in CA, IL, IA, KS, KY, ME, MT, NE, NY, OH, OK, TX, VA, WA, and WI.
Secretary Vilsack also highlighted some of USDA’s accomplishments to date to support meat producers, promote competition, and strengthen local and regional food supply chains. Last January, Secretary Vilsack joined President Biden at the White House to launch the Biden-Harris Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain — part of USDA’s efforts to implement President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.
He noted that under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has provided $54.6 million to 278 businesses and individuals through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG) for strengthening and developing new market opportunities for U.S. meat and poultry processors.
To further these efforts, AMS also invested up to $25 million to establish the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA). This program consists of a nationwide network to ensure that participants in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives have access to a full range of technical assistance to support their project development and success.
Facility improvements and expansions funded through MPIRG will help processors obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. Achieving a Federal Grant of Inspection or operating under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment program allows meat and poultry processors to ship products across state lines, develop new markets, increase capacity, and better meet consumer and producer demand along the supply chain. USDA also invested in efforts to strengthen its local and regional food supply chain with the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). LFPP grants support local and regional food business enterprises that engage as intermediaries in indirect producer-to-consumer marketing. Projects that receive funding through LFPP focus on activities such as supporting the processing, aggregation, distribution and storage of local and regional food products; developing value-added products; and aiding regional food chain coordination.
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