ALBANY — The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) reminded New York’s meat processors that critical funding is available to the industry through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA is offering $1 billion in grant and loan funding to these businesses to support the expansion of existing facilities or establish new ones, with the goal of increasing capacity and addressing the nationwide shortage of affordable meat available to consumers. AGM is also launching a $5 million meat processing expansion grant program later this year. The grant program was sponsored by New York Senate Agriculture Chair Michelle Hinchey and Assembly Agriculture Chair Donna Lupardo and will build on programs ESD makes available to support agribusinesses.
Commissioner Ball said, “The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate impact on agriculture, affecting all points of the food supply chain. While many areas have recovered, our meat processing facilities have continued to struggle with capacity and this has had a ripple effect, resulting in shortages in the grocery store. There is a real need here in New York for an increase in production in meat processing, but for that to happen, we need to provide support in a variety of ways. I hope our processors take advantage of the incredible amount of funding being provided through the USDA and that they look out for New York’s program, which will be launching soon.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight, said, “Agribusiness is a key New York State industry, and we encourage our meat processors to take advantage of the USDA federal funding that’s available to further grow and strengthen their businesses. We look forward to supporting the state Department of Agriculture and Markets new $5 million grant program for processors that will build on ESD’s existing programs to support small agribusinesses, as we continue to help this vital sector stay rooted in success.”
Senator Michelle Hinchey, Chair, Senate Agriculture Committee, said, “Over the last two years, I’ve talked to meat farmers from across New York State whose primary business challenge is the lack of processing opportunities, and I vowed to help. In addition to the historic $1 billion federal investment to strengthen our local supply chains, we fought for and secured New York’s first-ever statewide grant program for meat processing. The impacts of this industry-bolstering funding will be felt across our communities, not only creating business opportunities for our ag processors but lowering families’ weekly grocery costs. I encourage all of New York’s meat processors to take advantage of this unprecedented level of support.”
Assemblymember Donna Lupardo, Chair, Assembly Agriculture Committee, said, “The COVID pandemic brought to light serious vulnerabilities in the food supply chain, especially regarding meat processing. The grants being made available by the USDA, and from our recently enacted state budget, will support increased capacity for New York’s meat processors. I strongly urge them to take advantage of this significant funding opportunity, to help stabilize the industry while providing a high quality, locally sourced option for consumers.”
The USDA has four grant opportunities open currently, and an additional four funding programs will be launched in the coming weeks. All grant opportunities are listed here. Currently available programs include:
- Meat and Poultry Processing Technical Assistance ($25 million)
The Meat and Poultry Processing Technical Assistance (MPPTA) program ensures that participants in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives have access to a full range of technical assistance to support their project development and success. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is investing up to $25 million to establish a nationwide MPPTA network of support in four key areas: federal grant application management, business development and financial planning, meat and poultry processing technical and operation support, and supply chain development.
- Meat and Poultry Processing Workforce Development Program ($24 million)
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has made available $20 million for Agricultural Workforce Training available to qualified community colleges to support meat and poultry processing workforce development programs. The deadline to apply is September 22, 2022. NIFA also announced $4 million meat and poultry processing workforce development grants. The deadline to apply is August 29, 2022.
- Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program
The Food Supply Chain (FSC) Guaranteed Loan program uses $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding to make approximately $1.4 billion in guaranteed loans. Applications for these guaranteed loans – up to $40 million – will be accepted until all program funds are expended. Apply Here
- Reduce Overtime and Holiday Inspection Costs for Small and Very Small Processing ($100 million)
The Reduce Overtime and Holiday Inspection Costs for Small and Very Small Processing program provides $100 million to help small and very small processing plants. How to Apply.
These programs are in addition to five programs that the USDA has already announced. Four additional funding programs are expected to launch soon. This funding will support early-stage projects ($225 million), improve access to capital ($75 million), finance start-up or expansion projects ($125 million), and promote innovation through research and development to expand existing processing capacity ($25 million).
New York State $5 Million Meat Processing Program Funding
In addition to the USDA funding, AGM will also be launching its own $5 million meat processing program to assist with the expansion or modernization of meat processing facilities in New York and to encourage custom slaughterhouses to work on improving their facilities to receive a USDA federal grant of inspection. The funding is being provided through the NYS Budget and was sponsored by New York Senate Agriculture Chair Michelle Hinchey and Assembly Agriculture Chair Donna Lupardo.
Additional State Assistance from Empire State Development (ESD)
The $5 Million Meat Processing Program will build on existing programs administered by ESD that are targeted toward assisting agribusinesses. To learn more about these funding opportunities to assist with the expansion or modernization of meat and/or poultry processing facilities or build a new meat or poultry processing facility in New York State, visit https://esd.ny.gov/industries/agribusiness or contact Allison Argust at Allison.Argust@esd.ny.gov
–New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets