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USDA Invests $3.6 Million to Strengthen Virginia Food Supply Chain and Economy

Barbara Bowen
Release Date

Total Funding of $59 Million Awarded to Five States

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 21, 2023 – Shenandoah Valley Organic LLC is among five companies selected to receive U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants to help increase independent meat and poultry processing capacity, expand market opportunities for farmers and create jobs in rural areas across the nation.

Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the $59 million in total Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) funding while touring the Harrisonburg processing facility with Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh. They also visited with local producers and community members to discuss the importance of these investments to the region’s economy. 

“Poultry is big business in Virginia, contributing billions to the state’s economy,” said Perry Hickman, USDA Rural Development Virginia State Director. “This project will give producers like Shenandoah Valley Organic a fair chance to compete in the marketplace by helping break down barriers to processing. It will also expand low-cost meat and poultry product options for consumers in the commonwealth.” 

The company will use the $3.6 million award for equipment purchases, new conveyor lines, building and site modifications and a new wastewater treatment system. These improvements will help the facility ease processing bottlenecks and nearly double capacity to 630,000 birds per week. The investments will also create 300 jobs and enable Shenandoah Valley Organic to provide more processing options and choices for customers.

USDA awarded $75 million for 22 MPPEP projects in November and an additional $12 million for three more in January. The most recent grants to independent processors in Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Idaho and South Dakota are one of many actions that USDA is taking to transform the nation’s food system and create more revenue streams and markets for producers.

The Biden-Harris Administration has provided USDA with unprecedented resources through the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to invest in rural communities and transform our food system. Additional information on these programs is available at www.usda.gov/meat.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans, grants and loan guarantees 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 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.