WASHINGTON, D.C. – The USDA has announced more funding to help increase processing capacity.
Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is making available up to $215 million in grants and other support to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen the food supply chain, and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas.
Vilsack said $150 million can be used for construction, expanding current facilities, and/or equipment. “We’re looking for projects that will also benefit small-sized farming operations, looking for operations that will help new and beginning farmers (and) applications that may focus on veteran-owned farming operations.”
USDA is offering 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.
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will provide another $40 million for workforce development and training, and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will provide $25 million to offer technical assistance to grant applicants and others seeking resources related to meat and poultry processing.
USDA will host two informational webinars to provide information on MPPEP. The first, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, will provide an overview of the program. The second, March 7 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, will cover application requirements. Registration information for the webinars is available on the MPPEP website.
All application materials can be found at www.rd.usda.gov/mppep or at www.grants.gov. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 11, 2022, through www.grants.gov.
Today’s funding opportunity, announced on the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s Executive Order 14017 “America’s Supply Chains”, is one of many actions that USDA is taking to expand processing capacity and increase competition in meat and poultry processing to make agricultural markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient for American farmers and ranchers.