U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Nebraska Pork Producers Benefit from USDA Grant Funding

Kate Bolz
Release Date

LINCOLN, Neb., March 9, 2023 – United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Director Kate Bolz announced today a $25 million Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) grant awarded to Wholestone Farms in Fremont for a significant plant expansion.

“This major initiative will create new jobs, expand processing opportunities for farmers, and benefit consumers. USDA Rural Development is proud to support Wholestone Farms and their cooperative of independent pork producers through this investment” explains Bolz. 

The announcement was part of a nationwide investment announced today of more than $43 million in meat and poultry processing research, innovation, and expansion. These efforts are a part of ongoing USDA efforts to transform the food system at every stage along the supply chain. This investment is funded through the American Rescue Plan and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

As part of this total investment, the University of Arkansas was awarded a $5 million grant from the AFRI Center of Excellence for Meat and Poultry Processing and Food Safety Research and Innovation (MPPFSRI). In addition, $13.9 million in grants from the Meat and Poultry Processing Research and Innovation – Small Business Innovation Research Phase III – program were awarded to 14 small and mid-sized meat and poultry processors. These grants are administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“Farmers rely on technology to become more efficient and profitable,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Under the Biden-Harris Administration and through historic funding investments, USDA continues to invest in research processing expansion that will create new and better markets and expand opportunities for small businesses and rural communities. This investment will help enable that vision.”



The MPPFSRI Phase III objectives are to rapidly deploy emerging technologies and make applied research more accessible to independent business owners, entrepreneurs, producers, and other groups, such as cooperatives and worker associations who are less resourced. The areas in which technological developments were solicited address three areas prioritized by the Secretary: monitoring and improving complex processes, worker safety and food safety.

MPPEP was designed to support capacity expansion projects in concert with other private and public finance tools. For more information about MPPEP, view the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program page.

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. For more information visit, www.nifa.usda.gov.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of 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.