meat production

Biden Administration Makes Further Investments to Strengthen the Food Supply Chain

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Industry

A total of $225 million is being invested to further bolster the food supply chain through increased meat processing capacity and workforce development. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making $200 million available through the new Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP). USDA also announced $25 million will be invested in workforce training programs for meat and poultry processing workers.

Food Supply Chain
Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack.

“For too long, farmers and ranchers have seen the value and the opportunities they work so hard to create move away from the rural communities where they live and operate,” Agriculture Sectary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is committed to making investments that promote competition—helping support economic systems where the wealth created in rural areas stays in rural areas—and strengthening rules and enforcement against anticompetitive practices. The funding and new rule we’re announcing today ultimately will help us give farmers and ranchers a fair shake, strengthen supply chains, and make food prices fairer.”

MPILP funds will be used to provide financing support for independent meat and poultry processors to further develop their operations. Increased development of the sector is intended to help relieve some of the bottlenecks within the food supply chain. Grants of up to $15 million will be available to qualifying entities for the purpose of establishing a revolving loan fund to support operational expansion. Examples of acceptable activities include using loans to modernize equipment, improve facilities, and acquire land. Nonprofit lenders, including private nonprofits, cooperatives, public agencies, and tribal entities are eligible for support from the program.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will also be investing a total of $25 million through new and existing workforce development programs. The Agricultural Workforce Training investment will make $20 million available to qualified community colleges with programs supporting meat and poultry processing training programs. Additionally, a total of $5 million will be split between Extension Risk Management Education and Sustainable Agriculture Research Education programs.

Food Supply Chain
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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West