WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that USDA is making available up to $215 million in grants and other support to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen the food supply chain, and create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas.
Thursday’s funding opportunity, announced on the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s Executive Order 14017 “America’s Supply Chains”, is one of many actions that USDA is taking to expand processing capacity and increase competition in meat and poultry processing to make agricultural markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient for American farmers and ranchers.
USDA Rural Development is making $150 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding available through the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). USDA is offering grants of up to $25 million each to expand processing capacity through a variety of activities, including but not limited to construction, expansion of existing facilities, and acquisition of equipment.
USDA encourages applications that benefit smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, Tribes and tribal producers, socially disadvantaged producers, military veteran producers, and underserved communities.
USDA will host two informational webinars to provide information on MPPEP. The first, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m., will provide an overview of the program. The second, March 7 at 2 p.m., will cover application requirements. Registration information for the webinars is available on the MPPEP website.
For additional information, applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to visit the MPPEP website: www.rd.usda.gov/mppep. Questions may be submitted through the website or sent to MPPEP@usda.gov.