Charles City Food Processor Receives Loan and Grant from USDA
CHARLES CITY, IOWA – Oct. 21, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Farah Ahmad today announced that the Department is investing $38,720,000 under the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program to help Pure Prairie Farms Inc. expand capacity to process poultry and create job opportunities for people living in rural Iowa. The Department is also investing a $6,963,725 grant in the premium chicken integrator from the Meat and Poultry Processing and Expansion Program. The funding is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to strengthen critical food supply chain infrastructure to create more thriving communities for the American people.
"The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA know that rural entrepreneurs and business owners build opportunities for their neighbors and make it their life’s mission to serve their unique community’s needs,” said Ahmad. “We’re proud to partner with Pure Prairie Farms on this project that will revive a key economic engine for this area, increase poultry processing in the upper Midwest and restore hundreds of jobs.”
Pure Prairie Farms Inc., a grower-owned corporation, purchased a shuttered facility in Charles City last year. The company will use the funding to expand warehouse and distribution space, increase value-added processing capabilities, and improve employee welfare spaces. This expanded premium organic chicken plant will restore a market for regional poultry growers and jobs in this community of 7,400 people.
The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. The program is part of the administration’s efforts to address food system challenges dating back decades and further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program, USDA partners with lenders to guarantee loans to help eligible entities expand meat and poultry processing capacity and strengthen the U.S. food supply chain. Lenders provide the loans to eligible cooperatives, corporations, for profits, nonprofits, Tribal communities, public bodies and people in rural and urban areas. Since the program launched in December 2021, more than $250 million in loans have been guaranteed for projects in the middle of the food supply chain.
The Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) was designed to support capacity expansion projects in concert with other private and public finance tools. Today’s announcement is part of 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.
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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.