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Department Will Make Available $215 Million for Projects That Will Promote Competition and Increase Resiliency and Create Economic Opportunity in Rural America
San Juan, PR, February 24, 2022 –USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is making available up to $215 million in grants and other support to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen the food supply chain, and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. Today’s funding opportunity, announced on the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s Executive Order 14017 “America’s Supply Chains”, is one of many actions that USDA is taking to expand processing capacity and increase competition in meat and poultry processing to make agricultural markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient for American farmers and ranchers.
“For too long, ranchers and processors have seen the value and the opportunities they work so hard to create move away from the rural communities where they live and operate,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is committed to making investments to support economic systems where the wealth created in rural areas stays in rural areas. The funding we’re announcing today ultimately will help us give farmers and ranchers a fair shake and strengthen supply chains while developing options to deliver food produced closer to home for families.”
Luis R. Garcia, USDA Rural Development Director for Puerto Rico, indicated that the Agency, will make $150 million available in grants to fund startup and expansion activities in the meat and poultry processing sector. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will provide another $40 million for workforce development and training, and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will provide $25 million to offer technical assistance to grant applicants and others seeking resources related to meat and poultry processing. These new opportunities are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic commitment to fight monopolization and promote competition across the economy. They are also aligned with USDA’s vision of a food system that supports health and ensures producers receive a fair share of the food dollar while advancing equity and combating the climate crisis.
Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program
USDA Rural Development is making $150 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding available through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). USDA is offering grants of up to $25 million each to expand processing capacity through a variety of activities, including but not limited to construction, expansion of existing facilities, and acquisition of equipment.
USDA encourages applications that benefit smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, military veteran producers, and underserved communities.
USDA will host two informational webinars to provide information on MPPEP. The first, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, will provide an overview of the program. The second, March 7 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, will cover application requirements. Registration information for the webinars is available on the MPPEP website.
For additional information, applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to visit the MPPEP website: www.rd.usda.gov/mppep. Questions may be submitted through the website or sent to MPPEP@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. You can follow us in our Twitter Account @RD_PuertoRico.
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