Des Moines, Iowa, June 29, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today highlighted USDA’s investments to increase independent meat and poultry processing capacity and expand market opportunities for fertilizer producers, farmers and rural business owners in Iowa.
“While American farmers and ranchers have been responding to the demand to produce more, their communities have struggled to see their share of the benefits,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is committed to championing meat and poultry processers, increasing competition and lowering costs for working families. The announcement I’m making today highlights these producers and reflects the goals of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which advances a sustainable vision of agriculture, prioritizes the needs of our producers and small businesses, promotes competition, strengthens our domestic agricultural supply chains and brings prosperity to people and places in rural parts of our country.”
USDA Rural Development Iowa State Director Theresa Greenfield added, “USDA is helping build up rural communities by investing in ag producers and hometown businesses that support the security of our food supply chain. The Biden-Harris Administration is leading the way in supporting our rural neighborhoods. When we partner with innovators in the business community, job opportunities for Iowans increase.”
During a roundtable with producers and businesses at Landus Cooperative today, Secretary Vilsack highlighted several new and recent investments in three key programs that support a wide range of agricultural interests in Iowa. For example:
- USDA is providing a $25 million Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) grant to Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Company, LLC Pending final NEPA review. The MPPEP program helps independent processors expand their capacity and encourages competition and sustainable growth in the U.S. meat processing sector. Cattlemen’s Heritage plans to use the MPPEP grant to buy equipment for its new, 500,000-square-foot facility in Mills County. When the facility reaches capacity, it is projected to process 1,500 head of cattle per day, increasing consumer access to U.S. meat products at the grocery store.
- USDA is providing nearly $10 million through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP) to Landus Cooperative and Progressive Ag Cooperative to increase local fertilizer options for farmers and producers. The FPEP program increases innovative domestic fertilizer production by spurring domestic competition and combating rising fertilizer costs. Landus Cooperative will use a $4.9 million grant to build a greenfield fertilizer manufacturing and repackaging facility. The facility will manufacture a slow-release, leaf-based nitrogen fertilizer, which will decrease nitrogen application rates and increase overall nitrogen efficiency in growing corn. Landus is the largest agricultural cooperative in Iowa. It provides products and services to 7,000 farmers. Progressive Ag Cooperative will use a $4.9 million grant to construct a dry fertilizer facility to help farmers and producers in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.
- On June 28, Vilsack announced the award of $2.5 million in USDA Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants to nine companies to expand the use and availability of higher-blend biofuels in Iowa. For example, Kimmes Enterprises LLC received a $510,500 grant to replace four E15 dispensers and four ethanol storage tanks at three fueling stations located in Carroll, Rockwell City and Baxter. This project is expected to increase annual sales of ethanol by approximately 635,000 gallons.
Secretary Vilsack’s announcement demonstrates how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to making our economy more diversified and resilient, to driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good paying jobs and building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
About USDA Rural Development
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.
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.