WASHINGTON — Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the first-round recipients of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) grants and loans.
Phase I of MPPEP consists of $73 million in 21 grant projects intended to increase competition across the cattle marketplace and support increased producer opportunities. Additionally, these grants will work towards strengthening the food supply chain, creating jobs in largely rural areas, and lowering costs for consumers.
U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:
“USCA is pleased to see the breadth and scope of projects supported through MPPEP funding. The importance of this federal investment in our nation’s independent meat processors is evident when looking at the individual projects.
“For example, Upper Iowa Beef received a grant that will expand their processing capacity by over 50% while creating new jobs for the community and premium revenue opportunities for independent producers. In North Dakota, South 40 Beef will receive just under $500,000 to increase cooler and fabrication space which will help them double their processing capacity and workforce. And Lot 279 in Nebraska will use its grant to transition its current operation into a further-processing facility to help local producers add value to their beef products.
“These federal dollars were awarded to individuals and independent processors that can help usher in a new era of U.S. food production. USCA is encouraged by the announcement made today and looks forward to working with Secretary Vilsack and his staff as they prepare for subsequent rounds of funding.”
Additional information on the status of the Biden-Harris Administration’s pledge to investment $1 billion to expand meat and poultry processing is available at usda.gov/meat.
–U.S. Cattlemen’s Association