NJ Funding is Part of More Than $223 Million in Grants and Loans Nationwide to Support 32 Independent Processing Projects to Build Capacity and Increase Economic Opportunities for Meat and Poultry Processors and Producers around the Country
OMAHA, NE, November 2, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $223 million nationwide in projects across the country. In New Jersey, USDA Rural Development NJ State Director Jane Asselta was joined by Congressman Josh Gottheimer and others at Goffle Road Poultry for an announcement of $4,203,646 through the first round of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP).
“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 Secretary of Agriculture Tom 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.”
New Jersey Rural Development State Director Jane Asselta said, “This investment in Goffle Road Poultry Farm, a fourth-generation family-owned and operated business, represents a critical investment in local food supply infrastructure in New Jersey. For 96 years, the Silvestri Family has served the local and tri-state area helping local farmers and producers process their poultry. Their expansion project will help them increase their business, by a projected 300 percent, build a new stand-alone market, and provide halal poultry to meet a growing market need. I am pleased USDA Rural Development could help strengthen this local foods business and am looking forward to the next round of grant funding so we may help other New Jersey processors, just like Goffle Road Poultry Farm.”
Goffle Road Poultry, in Wyckoff, will use the $4.2 million investment to purchase state-of-the-art equipment associated with expanding its existing USDA processing facility and retail operation. The processing facility expansion will include renovation of the current 15,000 square foot building to include an evisceration room, offices for USDA and Goffle staff, lunchroom, lockers, and a training facility. The expansion will also include building a 15,000 square foot refrigerated extension for further product processing, refrigeration, and freezer storage. Processing capacity will realize an increase of over 150 percent by 2026. In addition, the company will create a satellite pickup and drop-off area for over ten area farms within and tangential to New Jersey, currently unavailable and highly desired by producers. The expansion will allow the company to expand further into the organic and Halal markets both of which are experiencing increasing consumer demand.
Today’s total announcement of $223 million for meat and processing programs 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 Processing Expansion (MPPEP) program is part of USDA’s initiative to strengthen critical supply chains and the food system. The program will support new investments in infrastructure for food aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution to increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain.
MPPEP was designed to support capacity expansion projects in concert with other private and public finance tools. Today’s announcement is the first round of funding made available through Phase I of MPEPP. Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks. USDA will also soon begin taking applications for a new phase to deploy an additional $225 million, for a total of up to $375 million, to provide gap financing for independent processing plant projects that fill a demonstrated need for more diversified processing capacity. For more information about MPPEP, click here.
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 www.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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