LINCOLN, Neb., March 6, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nebraska State Director Kate Bolz today announced the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $30 million in Nebraska to finance the startup and expansion of independent meat processors.
Two Nebraska nonprofits, the Center for Rural Affairs and the Nebraska Enterprise Fund, will each receive $15 million to establish a revolving loan fund to finance the startup, expansion, and operation of meat and poultry processors.
“Nebraska families and agricultural producers benefit from this significant investment in the food supply chain” explains Bolz. “Funding for the start up and expansion of independent meat processing capacity will promote competition, support producer income, and create economic opportunity in rural communities.”
Secretary Vilsack announced the new investments at the National Farmers Union convention in San Francisco. USDA is providing $89 million in grants under the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) to increase available financing for independent processors, alleviate bottlenecks, and create opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs in rural communities. The investments are being made under the second round of the program. Last fall, USDA awarded $75 million in grants to eight nonprofit lenders in seven states under the first round of MPILP.
Additional information on MPILP is available at www.usda.gov/meat.
These initiatives are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government efforts to promote fair competition, innovation, and resiliency across food and agriculture, and parallel efforts by USDA to promote more and better choices for farmers by: investing more than $1 billion in more competitive meat and poultry processing options and $500 million in new domestic sustainable fertilizer capacity; enhancing transparency and modernizing competition enforcement through new Packers & Stockyards Act rules, a Cattle Contract Library Pilot, and more; and enabling farmers and ranchers to better secure value from their products such as through the proposed rule on Product of USA also announced today.
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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