The Biden-Harris Administration will invest $59 million across the country to increase independent meat and poultry processing capacity, expand market opportunities for farmers, and create jobs in rural areas, says USDA.
The investment hopes to bring down prices at the grocery store, and supports the Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain, which dedicates resources to expanding independent processing capacity.
“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are taking action to advance a sustainable vision of agriculture that prioritizes the needs of our resilient producers and small businesses, strengthens our food supply chain and brings value back to rural people and places,” Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary, said in a statement. “Through investments like those, USDA will continue to work tirelessly to give farmers and ranchers a fair chance to compete in the marketplace, which in turn helps lower food costs for the American people.”
USDA is providing the $59 million in grants to five independent processors under the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program. The funding will help build new processing plants, create hundreds of jobs, give local producers and entrepreneurs more options and business opportunities, and give consumers more options.
Following are a few of these recipients:
• In Virginia, Shenandoah Valley Organic LLC will receive a $3.6 million grant to expand its organic chicken processing facility in Harrisonburg to meet increasing demand. The improvements will help the facility alleviate processing bottlenecks and nearly double its processing capacity to 630,000 birds per week, creating 300 jobs.
• In Idaho, Riverbend Meats LLC will receive a $25 million grant to help build an environmentally friendly beef processing plant in Idaho Falls. The project is expected to double the plant’s capacity from 300 head per day to 600, increasing the price ranchers receive for their cattle and lowering costs for consumers.
• In South Dakota, CNF Enterprises LLC will receive a $3.3 million grant to help build a 30,000-square-foot processing facility in New Underwood. The facility will have the capacity to process 4,000 head per year, including beef, pork, lamb, and buffalo.
The program is one of many actions that USDA is taking to expand processing capacity, create more revenue streams and market opportunities for producers, and transform the nation’s food system.