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Success Stories

Making Ends “Meat”: Woman-Owned Butchery Grows Local Foods Movement

Emily Cannon
Local Foods
Katie Adkins stands with cuts of meat

Local butcher Katie Adkins suddenly found herself in high demand when New Englanders decided to take matters into their own hands to address a COVID-created food supply chain crisis. Residents started raising their own livestock on small family farms and were clamoring for local processors to deliver “prime cuts” for their tables.

With an increased need for her butcher services, Katie turned to local nonprofit Berkshire Agriculture Ventures (BAV), whose mission is to support the development and viability of local farms and food businesses. As luck would have it, BAV had just received a USDA Rural Development Meat and Poultry Intermediary Relending Program Grant in the amount of $630,000. (Watch the video)

For BAV, this critical investment means being able to offer critical financing and technical support to help hundreds of local farms in rural Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.

Katie’s enthusiasm bubbles over when she talks about the space that the technical assistance provider told her to leave open to house a second smoker for “when you outgrow your space.”

When asked about the most delicious cut of meat she hesitates, “They’re all so delicious,” but then settles on ribeye. “You can’t go wrong with a good ribeye.”

The Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program provides grant funding to 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 program is to strengthen the financing capacity for independent meat processors, and to create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain. For more information contact Jennifer Lerch, Business & Cooperative Programs Director at (413) 253-4316 or jennifer.lerch@usda.gov.

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