U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $9.6 million across the country and taking several other steps to help farmers, ranchers, processors and rural businesses diversify the nation’s meat supply.
“USDA is putting the needs of farmers, ranchers and consumers at the forefront of the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to strengthen the resiliency of America’s food supply chain while promoting competition,” Vilsack said. “USDA has undertaken a Department-wide approach to coordinate ways to deliver more opportunities and fairer prices for producers, to give people access to healthier foods, eliminate bottlenecks in the food supply chain and ultimately lower prices for consumers.”
The Department is awarding 23 Value Added Producer Grant program grants totaling $3.9 million to help producer-owned companies process and market new products.
- Champlin’s Sugar Creek Farm LLC in La Crosse County will use a $49,999 Value-Added Producer Grant to process cattle into packaged beef. Funds will also be used for marketing and distribution. This project will increase customer base by 72 customers, increase revenue by almost $200,000 and create one new job.
“Helping eliminate bottlenecks in the food supply chain will benefit farmers, help lower prices at the grocery store and increase meat supply,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Wisconsin Julie Lassa. “The Value Added Producer Grant program aids in this by generating new products, creating and expanding market opportunities and increasing producer income.”
USDA is also providing guarantees for a total of $5.7 million in loans to two companies through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program using American Rescue Plan funding. This program supports new investments in infrastructure for food aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling and distribution.
Secretary Vilsack also highlighted some of USDA’s accomplishments to date to support meat producers, promote competition and strengthen local and regional food supply chains. Last January, Secretary Vilsack joined President Biden at the White House to launch the Biden-Harris Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain— part of USDA’s efforts to implement President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.
He noted that under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has provided $54.6 million to 278 businesses and individuals through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG) for strengthening and developing new market opportunities for U.S. meat and poultry processors.
To further these efforts, AMS also invested up to $25 million to establish the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA). This program consists of a nationwide network to ensure that participants in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives have access to a full range of technical assistance to support their project development and success.
Facility improvements and expansions funded through MPIRG will help processors obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. Achieving a Federal Grant of Inspection or operating under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment program allows meat and poultry processors to ship products across state lines, develop new markets, increase capacity, and better meet consumer and producer demand along the supply chain. USDA also invested in efforts to strengthen its local and regional food supply chain with the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). LFPP grants support local and regional food business enterprises that engage as intermediaries in indirect producer-to-consumer marketing. Projects that receive funding through LFPP focus on activities such as supporting the processing, aggregation, distribution and storage of local and regional food products; developing value-added products; and aiding regional food chain coordination.
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 https://www.rd.usda.gov/wi/
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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