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USDA Grants $115 Million to Boost Meat and Poultry Processing in 17 States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $115 million in grants for smaller meat and poultry operators in 17 states. These grants, part of the Biden administration’s efforts to enhance meat and poultry processing, aim to benefit farmers, create job opportunities, and revitalize rural areas.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasized the need for local communities to reap the rewards of increased production. The grants include financial support for the startup or expansion of processing plants as well as assistance for independent producers. Here are the details:

Expanding Meat and Poultry Processing Plants

The USDA has allocated $77 million in grants to recipients across 12 states through a program designed to facilitate the establishment or expansion of meat and poultry processing plants. This initiative will directly contribute to strengthening the industry and meeting the growing demand for processed meat products. Notable awards include:

  1. Mountain West Economic Development in Montana: A grant of $15 million will support the expansion of slaughterhouse operations in Montana’s Flathead Valley, boosting the state’s capacity for meat production.
  2. Farmers Union Foundation: An amount of $800,000 has been designated to assist smaller processors in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, enabling them to enhance their operations and increase their contribution to the local economy.

Promoting Independent Producers

In addition to the grants for processing plants, the USDA has allocated $38 million through a dedicated program aimed at supporting the expansion of slaughterhouses to benefit independent producers in five states. This initiative recognizes the importance of diversifying the market and empowering smaller players in the meat and poultry industry.

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Geographical Distribution

The funded projects are spread across a wide range of states, demonstrating the USDA’s commitment to promoting meat and poultry processing in various regions.

The 17 states benefiting from these grants include Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Conclusion

The USDA’s announcement of $115 million in grants for smaller meat and poultry operators in 17 states marks a significant step towards strengthening the industry, supporting farmers, and revitalizing rural communities.

By providing financial assistance for the establishment and expansion of processing plants, as well as promoting independent producers, the Biden administration aims to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for the meat and poultry sector.

These grants will not only boost local economies but also ensure a steady supply of high-quality meat products to meet the increasing demand nationwide.

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