RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 24, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is partnering with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund to offer $123 million in grants to help build strong local and regional food systems and create good paying jobs in rural communities.
Processors can apply for funding through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) to ramp up operations and create new and better markets for their products while transforming the food supply chain in the process. Eligible activities include building and modernizing facilities and equipment, adopting new technologies and training workers.
“Virginia has been a leader in this nationwide effort to create a fairer, more competitive and more resilient meat and poultry supply chain,” said Perry Hickman, USDA Rural Development Virginia State Director. “Shenandoah Valley Organic was one of the first recipients of MPPEP funding and we look forward to replicating their success in other parts of the state.”
The program was designed to encourage competition and sustainable growth in the U.S. meat processing sector, creating additional opportunities for small and mid-sized farming and ranching operations that will keep wealth in rural communities for generations to come. USDA already has awarded more than $200 million to independent businesses for projects that have created thousands of jobs nationwide.
Successful applicants may receive grants from $250,000 up to $10 million and must be able to cover 70 percent of the total project costs. Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 22, 2023. Details on eligibility and requirements are available on Grants.gov.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans, loan guarantees 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.