$33.2 Million Investment in South Carolina Supports New and Better Market Opportunities and Expands Existing Ones
Columbia, S.C., Nov. 27, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is making investments that will expand markets for agricultural producers and strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains in 37 states as well as Puerto Rico.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is championing America’s farmers and ranchers by helping to expand businesses, support more robust American supply chains and save jobs,” Vilsack said. “Today’s investments in agricultural producers and rural entrepreneurs will create better economic opportunities that spur competition and bolster food supply chains across the country. This will result in more affordable prices and choices for consumers, as well as more opportunities and revenue for farmers.”
Today’s announcement was made as part of the inaugural meeting of the new White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience which is part of President Biden’s agenda to bring down costs for American families and increase investment in America’s supply chains critical to economic and national security. Today’s funding builds on prior investments made by USDA under President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to increase competition, enhance independent meat and poultry and other diversified food processing capacity, strengthen local and regional food systems and expand domestic, innovative fertilizer production.
USDA is making investments in 185 projects worth nearly $196 million to create new and better market opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.
“South Carolina received over $33.2 million to support 18 projects located throughout the state,” said USDA Rural Development South Carolina State Director Dr. Saundra Glover. “These investments will support new and better market opportunities and expand existing opportunities for our rural farmers and ranchers.”
For example, in South Carolina:
- Agricultural Scientific, LLC will use a $29.6 million loan through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program to help support the development of a large greenhouse in Hampton County, South Carolina. The funds will be used for Phase I, which is a 35-acre tomato greenhouse and processing facility. Rural Development is also investing funds through the Business and Industry program.
- Split Creek Farms, LLC located in Anderson County, will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to provide working capital expenses associated with processing and marketing goat milk into cheeses for wholesale and to sell the raw milk into new markets. This project will create two new jobs and expand the customer base by 50 individuals and eight wholesale businesses.
- Manchester Farms Inc. located in Richland County will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to cover working capital expenses associated with processing, storing, transporting, and marketing Halal Quail Eggs throughout South Carolina. This project will create 30 jobs and save 20 jobs in the local area.
- Lowcountry Creamery LLC will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to expand the customer base and sales of the pasteurized and flavored milk throughout the regions of South Carolina. The grant funds and matching funds will be used to offset the cost of marketing, labor, supplies, delivery, and utilities.
USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are making these investments through six programs designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas.
Rural Business Development Grants assist with economic development planning and/or the financing or expansion of rural businesses by providing technical assistance and training for small rural businesses.
The Value Added Producer Grants Program helps farmers and ranchers venture into new markets by adding value to their bio-based products that will increase their revenue. Funds may be used to process or market these products. For example, an olive farmer may use funding to produce and market olive oil.
Business and Industry Loan Guarantees help improve rural economic health by increasing access to business capital, allowing commercial lenders, like banks and credit unions, to offer affordable financing to eligible rural businesses. This program was authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.
The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program supported investments in infrastructure for food processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, aggregation and distribution to increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse and secure U.S. food supply chain through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which, in turn, lend the funding to local businesses to support projects that will create and keep jobs in rural areas.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans, loan guarantees 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 is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, 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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