U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today met with Michigan farmers and business owners to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s investments to create economic opportunity, bolster local and regional food systems and increase access to climate-smart agriculture and renewable energy. Torres Small visited Michigan Turkey Producers cooperative, which received a $1.5 million USDA grant earlier this year to expand its facilities in Grand Rapids and announced that 46 Michigan businesses are receiving grants totaling $8.2 million through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.
“Thanks to President Biden's historic investment in rural America, USDA is providing new opportunities for rural people in their hometowns,” said Torres Small. “USDA is investing in farmers to promote growth and build a stronger, more sustainable economy for people in rural communities throughout Michigan and across our country.”
Her visit is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Rural Event Series, and follows an announcement this week of $5 billion in new investments for rural communities nationwide, across several USDA programs.
The Michigan Turkey Producers cooperative was granted $1.5 million through USDA’s Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program to help fund improvements to its hot water system, wastewater treatment facilities and purchase four refrigerated trailers. This will potentially increase processing capacity from 5.3 million turkeys per year to 10 million. The grant is part of a $1 billion commitment the Biden-Harris Administration made to expand independent meat and poultry processing capacity, promote competition, and give farmers more market options and the ability to obtain fairer prices.
The 46 Rural Energy for America Program grants that Michigan farms and businesses will receive include 42 solar energy projects, two grain dryers, energy efficiency improvements to a greenhouse and upgrades to an anaerobic digester. These are part of $145 million in REAP loans and grants, made to 697 businesses nationwide this week. More information on these projects is available here.