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
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $512,265 grant project in Texas through the first round of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). MPPEP delivers on President Biden’s call to increase competition across the economy to help lower costs for American families. Today’s announcement will expand meat and poultry processing capacity, which in turn increases competition, supports producer income, and strengthens the food supply chain to lower costs for working families and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. In addition, the Administration is investing $75 million for eight projects through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program, as well as more than $75 million for four meat and poultry-related projects through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan program.
“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.”
Texas Rural Development State Director Lillian Salerno said, “This grant for BRK Meats represents a vital investment in local food supply infrastructure and will be an economic multiplier for many rural communities. I am proud of USDA Rural Development’s commitment to supporting this rural business with expanding, increasing, and growing their operations while increasing access to locally raised food throughout the Piney Woods of East Texas.”
BRK Meats is a family-owned beef processor in East Texas. BRK Meats will add an in-house slaughter facility and a distribution center to increase volume of shipping and expand processing options for more than 200 independent cattle producers. This expansion project includes both improvements to an existing facility as well as a new location, substantially increasing the overall processing capacity of the operation as well as building out capabilities for processing value-added products. These improvements will more than double BKR's employee base and will support economic development in two rural Texas communities.
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, view the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program page.
For a full list of awards under these programs, visit: www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/11-02-2022-Food-Systems-Transformation-Chart-OSEC.pdf (PDF, 211 KB)
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.
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