WASHINGTON, [2.25.22] – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced new plans to shore up American food supply chains and generate economic opportunity for farmers in Minnesota. Thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan, which Klobuchar and Smith helped pass, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making up to $215 million in grants and other support available to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen the food supply chain, and create jobs and economic opportunities in Minnesota.
“When we support our farmers and ranchers, we make it easier for all families to get food on their tables,” said Klobuchar. “This investment in workforce training, increased processing capacity, and smaller farms and ranches will not only strengthen our country’s food supply, it will bring economic opportunity to rural parts of our state.”
“Even before the disruptions created by the pandemic, farmers in Minnesota have seen the vulnerabilities of our food supply chain,” said Smith. “These new programs – made possible by the American Rescue Plan – will shore up our food supply chains and help expand opportunity for farmers in Minnesota and around the country by creating stronger, more diverse markets for their products.”
Today’s funding opportunity is one of many recent actions that will 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 will make $150 million available in grants to fund startup and expansion activities in the meat and poultry processing sector. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will provide another $40 million for workforce development and training, and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will provide $25 million to offer technical assistance to grant applicants and others seeking resources related to meat and poultry processing. These new opportunities are part of a continued push to fight monopolization and promote competition across the economy.
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 are encouraged.
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.