Wallaces Farmer

USDA invests funds in food supply chain, sustainability

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced major investments to expand meat and poultry processing, as well as fertilizer production.

Jennifer Carrico

July 5, 2023

2 Min Read
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack
FUNDING: Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the investment of billions of dollars to help the agricultural industry and rural America during an event at Landus Cooperative headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 29. Jennifer Carrico

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced June 29 that the agency is making investments to increase meat and poultry processing capacity and to expand market opportunities for fertilizer producers in Iowa, along with other funds going to projects and companies across the country.

USDA is providing a grant through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program to Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Co. LLC for $25 million. Once the final review is accepted, the funds will help buy equipment for the new 500,000-square-foot facility in Mills County in southwest Iowa. Once completed, the facility will have the capacity to process 1,500 head of cattle per day.

The agency also awarded Landus Cooperative and Progressive Ag Cooperative $10 million through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program to increase local fertilizer options for farmers. The program increases innovative domestic fertilizer production by spurring domestic competition and combating rising fertilizer costs. Landus received a $4.9 million grant to build a greenfield fertilizer manufacturing and repackaging facility.

Matt Carstens, president and CEO of Landus, said the largest farmer-owned cooperative in Iowa will break ground on a nearly $16 million facility in Boone County and will manufacture a foliar, slow-release nitrogen product, which will decrease in-ground nitrogen application rates and increase overall environmental and financial efficiency of farms.

“This new facility in Boone delivers the sustainability, advanced logistics and economic efficiencies that the farmer of tomorrow and our downstream customers are rightfully demanding,” Carstens said.

Aid to rural America

Helping build up rural America is USDA’s goal. “American farmers and ranchers continue to produce more, but rural America needs to take care of all producers to support all parts of the rural American economy,” Vilsack said.

Theresa Greenfield, state director for USDA Rural Development in Iowa, said the agency is working to build up rural communities by investing in producers and hometown businesses that support the security of the American food supply chain.

Vilsack also announced $2.5 million in grants through USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to nine companies to expand the use and availability of higher-blend biofuels in Iowa.

These investments in Iowa are just part of the more than $470 billion being used to invest in keeping private-sector manufacturing and clean-energy investments in the United States, to create jobs, and to build an economy that will combat climate change and make communities more resilient.

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About the Author(s)

Jennifer Carrico

Jennifer Carrico of Redfield, Iowa, runs a small cow-calf operation with her family. She is a former editor of Wallaces Farmer.

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