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Meat+Poultry Magazine

In July, the Biden administration launched a “whole of government” approach to addressing competition issues across a range of US industries. For the meat and poultry processing industries fair and competitive agricultural markets joined a list of adverse events buffeting the industry within a two-year period – fire, a global pandemic, cyberattacks – events that likely resemble a plot in a movie but were all too real for participants up and down the supply chain. In response to the snags and longstanding issues facing the industry, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a series of investments stemming from $500
million in American Rescue Plan funds. The government’s strategy is to strengthen local and regional food systems, reduce barriers to processing, create jobs and lower costs for consumers by expanding their options for meat and poultry products through investments in small- and medium-sized processors. To start, USDA announced a first round of more than $223 million in grants and loans toward growing competition and expanding meat and poultry processing capacity in the United States. USDA spread this first round of funding, a total of $73 million, across 21 grant projects in 19 states as part of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP). USDA is investing an additional $75 million for eight projects through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP), as well as more than $75 million for four meat and poultry-related projects through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan program (FSCGLP). To read more, visit Meat+Poultry Magazine

Greater Omaha Packing in Omaha, Neb., received $20 million in MPPEP funds to go toward a planned $100 million investment to upgrade the company’s freezers, expand wastewater system capacity, remodel key areas for value-added further processing and increase its carcass holding coolers. The improvements will enable Greater Omaha to expand the company’s beef processing capacity by 700 head per day and support an additional 275 jobs. “This significant investment will allow the company to remain competitive in the marketplace and continue to support our small family feeder operators while providing incremental value back to the producers,” said Henry Davis, chief executive officer of Greater Omaha. “We believe the production expansions will keep us at the forefront of an ever-changing industry.”

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