supply chains

Technical Assistance Program to Further Expand Processing Capacity

Brian German Agri-Business, Dairy & Livestock

As part of the effort to expand processing capacity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new technical assistance initiative. The Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA) has been launched to help support meat and poultry grant applicants and grant-funded projects. The assistance is being provided to applicants that are involved with the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program and the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant.

Official portrait of Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack. USDA photo by Tom Witham

“This is a true partnership to help meat and poultry processors and grant applicants diversify processing ownership throughout the country,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “Meat and poultry processing is a complex sector that requires significant planning and forethought to manage economic viability concurrently with worker, food, and environmental safety. We are pleased to partner with these initial organizations, given their deep technical expertise and demonstrated service to underserved communities, as part of our support for fairer, more competitive, and resilient meat and poultry supply chains.”

The MPPTA will be coordinated through three non-profit organizations working under cooperative agreements with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Led by the Flower Hill Institute, the organizations will provide technical assistance, outreach strategies, and develop a national network of supporting efforts. Oregon State University’s Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network and the Intertribal Agriculture Council will also serve as partnering organizations in the administration of the MPPTA. Other organizations that may be partnering with USDA include the American Association of Meat Processors, the American Meat Science Association, and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.

AMS will be working with MPPTA organizations in connecting grant applicants and project managers with appropriate experts for the type of assistance needed. Four distinct technical assistance scopes have been identified, including federal grant application management, business development and financial planning, meat and poultry processing technical and operational support, and supply chain development. Information on how to request technical assistance through the MPPTA program is available here.

Technical Assistance
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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West