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USDA Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small Announces $1 Million Grant through the American Rescue Plan to Increase and Expand Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity in Ohio

Name
Heather Stacy
City
Columbus
Release Date
Nov 04, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio, November 4, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development  Xochitl Torres Small today announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in a $1 million grant project in Ohio through the first round of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP).

“Rural people grow and produce the food, fiber and fuel that the rest of our country depends on,” said Torres Small. “President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, are proud to partner with rural people in Ohio to strengthen the food supply chain and create jobs and economic opportunities in the places rural people call home."

Ohio grant recipient, R&C Packing Inc., has been serving the needs of local producers in Bidwell since 2004, operating a custom livestock harvest and butcher processing facility. While this facility has served the company well for many years, increased demand from current customers, potential new customers, and increasing industry standards are driving the need for a newly constructed facility. The new facility will include processing plant, barn and cold storage space, and retail space. The company projects to increase processing by 50% by May 2026.

“Expanding meat processing operations in rural Ohio is good for producers and processors. Today’s announcement is about keeping money in our local communities and increasing opportunities for Ohio farmers and small businesses’, said Ohio State Director Jonathan McCracken. “For R&C Packing Inc., this grant increases processing capacity, which will provide new opportunities to sell its high-quality product across the region.”

 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.

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.usda.gov.

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