BISMARCK, N.D.– U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Erin Oban today announced that USDA Rural Development is investing $471,525 in North Dakota through the first round of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) and $10 million through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program. Today’s announcement delivers on President Biden‘s commitments through the American Rescue Plan to expand meat and poultry processing capacity, which in turn increases competition, supports producer income, strengthens the food supply chain, and creates jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. These announcements support the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain.
“USDA Rural Development was given a significant responsibility to design and launch programs that would respond to major challenges that have long-impacted our country’s food supply chain and were emphasized and made even more obvious at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Rural Development State Director, Erin Oban. “The priority of the Biden Administration to address this challenge created opportunity for North Dakotans, and we are thrilled to award $10,000,000 to Lewis and Clark Development Council and nearly $500,000 to South 40 Beef, both right here in our state. Expanding their capacity and supporting in-state meat processing is a win-win for producers, businesses, and consumers.”
In North Dakota:
Lewis and Clark Regional Development Council will use a $10 million grant to help develop North Dakota’s economy and communities through flexible financing for the start-up, expansion, and operation of entities engaged in the primary processing or further processing of meat and poultry. This will strengthen the capacity for independent processors and help to create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain.
South 40 Beef, LLC will use a $471,525 grant to expand their facility. South 40 Beef is a USDA-inspected beef processing plant in Mott. The 6,000 sq. ft. plant currently processes approximately 130 heads of cattle per month. The grant funds will help to expand their operations to 12,000 sq. ft. and add increased cooler and fabrication space. These improvements will allow the processing of up to 300 heads of cattle per month.
The MPPEP was designed to support capacity expansion projects in concert with other private and public finance tools. Today’s announcement is the first round of funding made available through Phase I of MPEPP. Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks. USDA will also soon begin taking applications for a new phase to deploy an additional $225 million, for a total of up to $375 million, to provide gap financing for independent processing plant projects that fill a demonstrated need for more diversified processing capacity. For more information about MPPEP, click here.
The MPILP provides grant funding to nonprofit intermediary lenders who finance – or plan to finance – the start-up, expansion, or operation of slaughter, or other processing of meat and poultry. The objective of the MPILP is to strengthen the financing system for independent meat processors, and to create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain. In the first round of MPILP $75 million was awarded to eight lenders in seven states. Applications for second cycle ($125 million) are currently being accepted and are due December 31, 2022.
Today’s announcement 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, and builds upon the Department’s efforts to transform the nation’s food system. Additional information on all these programs is available at usda.gov/meat.
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.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants 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.
If you'd like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.