COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is awarding a total of $3,471,088 in matching grant funding to eight South Carolina companies to help them expand their beef processing capacity.
Together, these small-facility expansions will increase South Carolina’s processing capacity by 8,300 head of cattle per year, creating new jobs and strengthening the local food system.
With an estimated economic impact of $3,500 per head, the expansions will keep approximately $29 million of economic activity in South Carolina that would otherwise have gone out of state.
“Helping these facilities expand will allow more of South Carolina’s 700-plus livestock farmers to raise their animals to maturity and have them processed in the state, keeping dollars in the local economy,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “We know there’s high consumer demand for local meat, and I’m proud of the way we’re working together to address it.”
The Agribusiness Infrastructure Incentives Distribution Panel reviewed applications and selected the awardees:
- Back 40 Butchery, Hodges, SC
- Brown’s Meat Market, Spartanburg, SC
- Cordray’s Processing, Ravenel, SC
- Hemingway Locker Plant, Hemingway, SC
- Knockout Butchery, Pauline, SC
- Neverdun Farms, Sumter, SC
- PF Meat Company, Belton, SC
- Williamsburg Packing Co., Kingstree, SC
The success of this small grant program points to additional opportunities to strengthen South Carolina’s food system. Many South Carolina-grown products are harvested in state and then transported out of state for processing/packaging, which results in a significant amount of lost revenue, capital investment and jobs. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has requested an additional $75 million from the General Assembly to address the significant lack of in-state food processing capacity across seafood, fruit and vegetables, dairy, grain and animal feed.
–Eva Moore, SCDA