U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the federal government is providing more than $220 million in new meat processing grants and loans this week to boost processing capacity, competition, and rural jobs, while lowering food costs.
“All told, we’re talking about $223 million in grants and loans, over 32-awards in 19-states across the country,” according to Vilsack. “This compliments the $54 million previously invested in 266 facilities that now have expanded opportunities to sell beyond their own individual state, now, into interstate commerce.”
Vilsack says the impact could be significant.
“We think it’s going to expand capacity in beef, pork and mixed processing by over 500,000 head per year, we think it will expand capacity in poultry, nearly 34 million birds per year. We anticipate and expect over 1,100 jobs to help to be created on an ongoing operational basis—and that doesn’t include the construction jobs, as a result of the expansion,” according to Vilsack.
He says more announcements are expected in coming weeks and USDA will soon take applications for up to $375 million to finance independent processing plant projects.
Source: NAFB News Service.