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USDA Rural Development Maine Announces $250,000 to Support Rural Maine Farmers

Nicole Howell
Release Date

Biden-Harris Administration Invests in Projects to Promote Competition and Strengthen the Nation’s Meat Supply Chain


 BANGOR, Maine, Jan. 5, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson announced the Biden-Harris administration is investing $250,000 to support rural Maine farmers as a part of a nationwide effort to help diversify the meat supply.

In Maine, Apple Creek Farm LLC, in Bowdoinham, is receiving a $250,000 grant through the Value-Added Producer Grant program to expand processing, marketing and sales of their certified organic eggs, beef, chicken, sheep, goats, and sheepskins. This project will allow for an increase in their customer base and revenue while adding two employees.

USDA Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson said, “This Value-Added Producer Grant award represents a confidence that we at USDA Rural Development have in Maine’s food system. The hard work and innovation of Apple Creek Farm will be amplified through this investment, and the positive effects will uplift Maine’s farmers and consumers alike. The Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to strengthening our food supply chain, not at the expense but rather to the benefit of our small farms is demonstrated in each and every one of these awards; a rising tide truly lifts all boats.”

For more information and to learn more about the Value-Added Producer Grant, contact Brian Wilson, Business & Cooperative Programs Director, at brian.wilson@usda.gov.

Additionally, USDA is investing $3.65 million in Value Added Producer Grants in 22 projects in California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted some of USDA’s accomplishments to date to support meat producers and support efforts to strengthen local and regional food supply chains.

He noted that during fiscal year 2022, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provided $21.9 million to 111 businesses and individuals in 37 states through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG) for strengthening and developing new market opportunities for U.S. meat and poultry processors. This brings the total investment in MPIRG to $54.6 million.

To further these efforts, AMS also invested up to $25 million to establish the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA). This program consists of a nationwide network to ensure that participants in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives have access to a full-range technical assistance to support their project development and success.

Facility improvements and expansions funded through MPIRG will help processors obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. Achieving a Federal Grant of Inspection or operating under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment program allows meat and poultry processors to ship products across state lines, develop new markets, increase capacity, and better meet consumer and producer demand along the supply chain.

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/me.

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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