Farm Progress

USDA invests $115 million in meat and poultry processing

Agency looks to increase capacity and expand market opportunities.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

June 30, 2023

1 Min Read
meat processing
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA plans to invest $115 million to increase meat and poultry processing capacity. He says this will expand market opportunities for farmers and support a growing rural workforce. According to him, it also reflects the goals of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, something his administration has recently begun referring to as “Bidenomics.”

“While American farmers and ranchers have been responding to the demand to produce more, their communities have struggled to see their share of the benefits,” Vilsack says. “Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is committed to championing meat and poultry processers, increasing competition and lowering costs for working families.”

Five grants totaling $38 million were awarded to independent processors in five states through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program. Among the approved projects is a $2 million award to help three independent businesses in Michigan build and equip a meat and poultry processing and retail facility.

Approximately $77 million was allocated to producers in 12 states through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program. Included in that is $15 million to help Montana’s Mountain West Economic Development support processing and slaughterhouse operations in Flathead Valley.

The nonprofit National Farmers Union Foundation will use its $800,000 award to make loans to small and medium-sized meat processors in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

An additional $4.5 million will fund seven community and technical college projects through the Meat and Poultry Processing- Agriculture Workforce Training program. USDA officials say these investments will help build a pipeline of well-trained meat processing workers and support safe workplaces with fair wages.

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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