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USDA awards $15M to Minnesota for meat processing businesses

The new funding will be available through MDA’s Rural Finance Authority.

November 7, 2022

2 Min Read
butcher cutting and processing slabs of meat
GROWING THE INDUSTRY: Low-interest loans for starting and expanding meat and poultry businesses in Minnesota will be available in early 2023. The state was awarded $15 million in grant money for the USDA Minnesota Rural Development Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program.Paula Mohr

Minnesota is receiving $15 million from USDA to establish a revolving loan program that will support small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors.

The new Meat and Poultry Revolving Loan Fund will be available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Rural Finance Authority.

The fund will offer low-interest loans for the startup, expansion or operation of slaughter and value-added meat and poultry processing. Loans of up to $10 million will be available at a 3% fixed interest rate, with a term of up to 10 years. Funds can be used to purchase land or equipment, cover startup costs and make other business investments. Returned funds will be available to new borrowers.

“This loan program acts as a catalyst for rural prosperity by opening opportunities to expand local and regional processing capacity and increase competition within the meat industry. It creates new markets, new jobs and builds our economy,” says Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development state director.

2 rounds of grants

Minnesota was awarded the maximum of $15 million in grant money targeting meat and poultry processing for the USDA Minnesota Rural Development Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program. The USDA will be investing a total of $200 million across the nation through two rounds of program grants.

“The MDA’s Rural Finance Authority already oversees over $96 million in loans and is well qualified to manage and administer this money,” says Thom Petersen, MDA commissioner. “We are grateful for this award from USDA and look forward to its positive impact on the meat and poultry processing industry across Minnesota.”

Minnesota Farmers Union has championed increased investment in small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors at the state and federal level for several years.

“We are elated to see the establishment of a revolving loan program at Minnesota’s Rural Finance Authority,” says Gary Wertish, MFU president. “These funds will assist rural entrepreneurs in expanding their businesses, which is welcome news for livestock farmers. We are grateful to USDA for making this investment in a more resilient food system, and we are appreciative of the leadership of Gov. Walz and his administration as they pursued this funding to strengthen rural Minnesota’s economy.”

Loan applications will be available in early 2023.

Source: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

 

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