Part of more than $223 million in grants and loans nationwide to support 32 independent processing projects
RALEIGH, N.C. -November 2, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the Biden-Harris Administration is investing a $15 million grant project in North Carolina through the first round of the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program.
The North Carolina Agricultural Finance Authority will utilize this $15 million investment to facilitate economic recovery from the pandemic for businesses engaged in meat and poultry processing by assisting businesses that may close if the funds needed to purchase the business are not available.
“Since President Biden laid out a commitment at the start of this year, USDA has worked tirelessly to give farmers and ranchers a fair chance to compete in the marketplace,” said Vilsack. “By jumpstarting independent processing projects and increasing processing capacity, these investments create more opportunities for farmers and ranchers to get a fair price, while strengthening supply chains, delivering more food produced closer to home for families, expanding economic opportunity and creating jobs in rural America.”
The ultimate goal of the NCAFA MPILP is to facilitate the start-up and expansion of small and medium sized processing plants including mobile processing units, thereby providing processing opportunities for smaller farm to table meat and poultry producers as well as larger mid-sized meat and poultry producers.
“Through this investment we are supporting processing projects at every scale,” Rural Development State Director Reginald Speight. “Whether they are neighborhood butcher shops or regional scale facilities, we are opening new opportunities for both producers and consumers, and that matters to rural communities.”
Today’s announcement of $223 million for meat and processing programs nationwide delivers on President Biden‘s commitments through the American Rescue Plan to expand meat and poultry processing capacity, which in turn increases competition, supports producer income, strengthens the food supply chain and creates jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. These announcements support the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain.
The Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program provides grant funding to nonprofit intermediary lenders who finance – or plan to finance – the start-up, expansion, or operation of slaughter, or other processing of meat and poultry.
The objective of the MPILP is to strengthen the financing system for independent meat processors, and to create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain. In the first round of MPILP $75 million was awarded to eight lenders in seven states. Applications for second cycle ($125 million) are currently being accepted and are due December 31, 2022.
Today’s announcement is one of many actions that USDA is taking to expand processing capacity and increase competition in meat and poultry processing to make agricultural markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient for American farmers and ranchers, and builds upon the Department’s efforts to transform the nation’s food system. Additional information on all these programs is available at usda.gov/meat.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
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