WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $320 million in agricultural producers and food businesses across the United States.
“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are standing up for America’s farmers and ranchers by expanding processing capacity, creating fairer markets, more revenue streams and market opportunities which help bring down food costs for families at the grocery store,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “We are partnering with entrepreneurs in rural areas to build brighter futures, connect business owners to new markets and create good jobs for generations to come.”
The recent investments will be distributed across the following 19 states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
The funding will go through four different loan and grant programs, including the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP), which supports intermediary lenders who finance expansions and operations of meat and poultry processing facilities.
Four companies are receiving a total of $16.5 million grants through MPILP, including Berkshire Agricultural Ventures Inc. ($630,000), Great Falls Development Authority Inc. ($2 million), Great Northern Development Corp. ($4.13 million) and Bear Paw Development Corp. ($9.75 million).
The remaining investment, totaling over $300 million, will be distributed as loans across 23 different projects. Types of projects include construction of cold storage facilities, equipment installations, plant expansions and warehouse additions, among others.