Vilsack announces $9.6M meat processing investment

The Biden administration is continuing its efforts to help diversify the nation’s meat supply.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the USDA has awarded $9.6 million in grants and loans for 25 projects that will increase independent meat processing capacity.

“The point of this is we’re looking at a creative and comprehensive set of opportunities to expand more new and better market opportunities for meat and poultry,” Vilsack said Thursday.

The latest investments are being made through the Value-Added Producer Grant Program and the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program.

The projects will take place in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

For example, Vilsack details one project in Ohio… “A $108,000 grant allowing a family farm to produce grassfed finished beef, pasture-raised poultry, and farm fresh eggs.”

Vilsack says more investments are expected down the line using American Rescue Plan funding. “An opportunity for us to continue to look for ways to help small and mid-sized farming operations and ranching operations to have additional market opportunities that will create hopefully more income for farmers, more choice for consumers, and more jobs in rural areas,” the secretary said.

Vilsack says the funds should help strengthen the nation’s food supply chain.

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