USDA commits $215 million to improve America’s food supply chain
Department will make $215 million available for projects that will foster competition, increase resilience and create economic opportunity in rural America
WASHINGTON, February 24, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the USDA is making available up to $215 million in grants and other support to expand processing options for meat and poultry, strengthen the food supply chain and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas. . Today’s funding opportunity, announced on President Biden’s first birthday Executive Order 14017 “American Supply Chains”is one of many actions the USDA is taking to increase processing capacity and increase competition in meat and poultry processing to make agricultural markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient for farmers and American breeders.
“For too long, ranchers and processors have seen the value and the opportunities they work so hard to create moving away from the rural communities where they live and operate,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, the USDA is committed to investing to support economic systems where wealth created in rural areas stays in rural areas. The funding we are announcing today will ultimately help us give farmers and ranchers a fair shake and strengthen supply chains while developing options to deliver food produced closer to home to families.
USDA Rural Development will make $150 million available in grants to fund start-up and expansion activities in the meat and poultry processing sector. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will provide an additional $40 million for workforce development and training, and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will provide $25 million to provide technical assistance to grant applicants and others seeking resources related to meat and poultry processing. . These new opportunities are part of the Biden-Harris administration’s historic commitment to fight monopolization and promote competition across the economy. They are also aligned with the USDA’s vision of a food system that supports health and ensures producers receive a fair share of the food dollar while advancing equity and addressing the climate crisis.
Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program
USDA Rural Development is making $150 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding available through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). The USDA provides grants of up to $25 million each to expand processing capacity through a variety of activities, including but not limited to construction, expansion of existing facilities, and acquisition of equipment.
The USDA encourages applications that benefit small farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, tribes and tribal growers, socially disadvantaged growers, military veterans, and underserved communities.
The USDA will host two informational webinars to provide information on the MPPEP. The first, on February 28 at 2 p.m. EST, will provide an overview of the program. The second, on March 7 at 2 p.m. EST, will focus on application requirements. Webinar registration information is available on the MPPEP website.
For more information, applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to visit the MPPEP website: www.rd.usda.gov/mppep. Questions can be submitted through the website or sent to [email protected]
Workforce Development in Meat and Poultry Processing
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will invest an additional $40 million through existing workforce development programs to provide a pipeline of well-trained workers to meet the demand of today’s processors and increased independent processing capacity. The primary investment will be through competitive grants to support workforce training at community, junior and technical colleges with programs specifically for meat and poultry processing. A call for nominations will be released in April 2022. Additional investments will leverage existing regional USDA education and outreach networks and establish new centers of excellence or complement some existing centers of excellence at institutions serving minorities focused on meat and poultry research, education and training. Each of these investments is designed to deliver needed support faster. Additional investments, either through the same programs or new programs and partnerships, are expected later this year. To sign up for notifications of these and other NIFA funding opportunities, visit ANIF website.
The USDA plans to continue working with the Department of Labor to support and encourage the development of good jobs in agriculture, including jobs in meat and poultry processing.
Technical assistance for meat and poultry processing
The USDA is also helping to ensure that entities offering independent meat and poultry processing projects under the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) receive service. comprehensive technical support from application to post-award. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will provide approximately $25 million in U.S. bailout funding to partner with organizations that will provide technical assistance to MPPEP applicants, recent recipients, and future applicants of the meat and poultry inspection readiness grant program, and entities that require general advice and resources on meat and poultry processing. Of the $25 million, AMS will use $10 million to implement the first phase of support by establishing an initial technical assistance network and a lead coordinator. Further information on technical assistance is available on the Meat and Poultry Supply Chain website.
USDA one year supply chain reportalso released today, assesses opportunities, including today’s significant investment in the meat and poultry sector, that the USDA, other federal agencies and Congress have created for the long term to instill stability, improve equity, diversify and expand infrastructure and markets, and transform the food system.
Biden-Harris Administration Commitment to Supporting American Farmers and Ranchers
This funding announcement follows the Biden-Harris administration’s announcement September 2021 announcement on the measures it is taking to combat concentration in the meat processing industry and the January 2022 announcement on an action plan for a fairer, more competitive and more resilient meat and poultry supply chain. This also follows the USDA’s announcement in December 2021 of $100 million for guaranteed loans in addition to the previously announced $500 million investment to expand meat and poultry processing capacity. . See all recent actions taken to support the US food supply chain at www.usda.gov/meat.
As Co-Chair of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Supply Chain Disruption Task Force, Secretary Vilsack and the USDA brought together industry, labor and federal partners to address near-term disruptions to the supply chain resulting from the administration’s strong economic recovery. This is one of many key actions the USDA is taking to build a more resilient supply chain and better food system and to increase competition in agricultural markets. These measures are consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy and his Executive Order on American Supply Chains. This initiative will support key investments in supply chain infrastructure to expand and scale existing capacity, as well as long-term investments in new operations.
The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the U.S. food system with a greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring the access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and capacity clean energy in rural America, and committing to equity across the department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.